Anesi Ozmon Associate Lisa M. Ciharan obtained a half-million dollar verdict in a premises liability case on behalf of a 68-year-old woman injured in a fall during a family luncheon at a Chicago restaurant, Hash House A Go Go. The Plaintiff was descending the stairs to the basement dining area when she encountered a steep, 10.25” stair riser which violated City code. The dangerous and unsafe condition caused her to fall. It was further alleged that the Defendant failed to take any action to remedy or warn the Plaintiff about the dangerous condition. The Plaintiff is the primary caregiver for her husband who recently suffered a stroke. She is also a full-time intake case manager for an organization that provides rehabilitation, recovery skills training, social skills, and recreation for adults with mental illness.
The Plaintiff suffered a fracture of her right ankle and wrist. She was initially treated at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago and later underwent surgery. She was unable to care for her family and could not return to work for several months. She will live with a plate and 10 screws in her right ankle for the rest of her life.
“The law requires stair uniformity in order to promote safety. Our client’s injuries could have been avoided had the Defendant acted with reasonable care to provide a safe premises for their patrons. Individuals and families should be able to expect a safe dining environment when enjoying an outing,” stated Ciharan. “We are pleased that we obtained a verdict that provides compensation to help to restore some sense of normalcy for our client and her family. This injury and the financial and emotional impact could have been avoided.”
The 5 man, 7 woman jury deliberated for three hours following a three-day trial. The case was tried before Judge Bridget Hughes in Cook County.