Heyl Royster

Karl Bayer and Leah Nolan Secure Favorable Ruling on Summary Judgment Motion, Successfully Defending Five Defendants Against $1.25 Million Settlement Demand

Posted on April 23, 2024 at 2:00 PM by Karl Bayer, Leah Nolan

This claim involved a plaintiff who allegedly fell at a gas station. After returning to the gas station two days after her fall, she speculated that she had fallen on a raised step near the back of the store. The defense argued that the plaintiff had failed to prove proximate causation because she could not ascertain with certainty what she fell on, what caused her to fall, or that the defendant created a defective condition that caused her to fall.

At oral arguments, Heyl Royster meticulously dismantled the plaintiff's case, arguing that the plaintiff had failed to present any evidence to show any condition created by the defendants that caused her to fall and that the plaintiff could not state with specificity that she fell on the step. The defense's thoroughness was evident as they noted that the distraction exception was inappropriate as it did not apply to the proximate causation element of a negligence claim. Further, citing Bruns v. City of Centralia, 2014 IL 116998, Heyl Royster argued personal inattentiveness was not something the defendants were legally required to anticipate.

The Judge ultimately agreed with the defendants and found that simply falling and getting injured doesn't automatically create liability for property owners or businesses.

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