Defense against Premises Liability Claims
Owning or operating real estate can come with an unexpected cost – premises liability litigation. The arguments and defenses unique to these claims require thorough and targeted investigation and discovery in order to develop key facts, some of which may not be readily apparent. Quinn Johnston represents all types of property owners, including but not limited to: governmental entities, restaurants, businesses, shopping centers, property managers, maintenance contractors, and homeowners. We defend all kinds of premises liability claims, including:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Snow and ice
- Contaminated food
- Defective steps, floors, sidewalks and parking lots
- Inadequate lighting
- Falls from heights
- Failure to warn
- Uneven surfaces
- Supervision of hazardous activities
- Bodies of water
- Industrial hazards
- Latent defects
- Dram shop liability
Premises liability cases are often susceptible to dispositive motion practice. Whenever possible, our attorneys strive to develop the facts necessary to position the case for early termination through a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment. Where appropriate, Quinn Johnston’s Peoria and Springfield defense attorneys negotiate, mediate, or arbitrate claims to a reasonable conclusion.
Successful Defenses Raised by Quinn Johnston in Premises Cases
Quinn Johnston’s premises liability defense team has disposed of numerous cases based on defenses such as: immunity, the open and obvious doctrine, lack of notice, property control, and the natural accumulation rule.
Shopper’s Experiment Leads to Store Injury: Quinn Johnston obtained summary judgment in a case involving a 43-year-old woman who was injured in a sporting goods store while trying out an inversion machine. The court found no duty based on an open and obvious danger.
The Open-And-Obvious Defense Works: We were granted summary judgment for a retailer in a case where a customer fell on a wooden pallet. While reaching for a product, the plaintiff stepped between the pallet slats and broke her ankle. The court found that there was no duty because the hazard was open and obvious. The ruling was affirmed on appeal and the petition to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court was denied.
Placement of a Mat Does Not Give Rise to Liability: Quinn Johnston represented a defendant in a claim arising out of a slip and fall at a hotel. Plaintiff claimed that he tripped over a mat in the air lock area between the lobby and the front door of the hotel and tore his right rotator cuff. He claimed the edge of the mat was slightly risen. The court granted summary judgment on the basis that there was no apparent defect in the mat, and if there was, the condition of the mat was open and obvious.
Landlord Cleared in Slip-And-Fall: We obtained summary judgment for a landlord in a case where a tenant’s visitor slipped and fell on an ice patch created by a defective downspout on the porch of a rental property. The court ruled that the downspout was the responsibility of the tenant.
No Liability for Natural Accumulations of Ice, Snow: In another ice case, the plaintiff slipped on an ice patch after leaving her bank. The court granted summary judgment because the accumulation of ice was natural, and thus there was no duty to remediate.
Automatic Door Did Not Fail, Jury Finds:An elderly woman entered a medical office building alone and fell at the entryway, claiming that the automatic door closed prematurely on her. The resultant broken hip landed her in a nursing home and wheelchair. The jury hearing the case rejected the woman’s claim that the door closed on her, finding instead that the woman had tripped and fallen into the door.
About Quinn Johnston
Our experienced litigators provide superior quality, effective representation while maintaining a high level of professionalism and ethical standards. Quinn Johnston was featured by Fortune Legal Marketplace as a 2013 Top Ranked Law Firm based on Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent ratings for ethical standards and legal ability. Several of our attorneys have also been named as Leading Lawyers by their peers in the Leading Lawyers Network. We represent clients throughout Central and Southern Illinois, including Peoria, Galesburg, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, Princeville, Champaign, Rock Island, Lincoln, Jacksonville, Edwardsville, Effingham, and surrounding areas.