Illinois Appellate Court Overturns Summary Judgment for Condominium Owners in Slip and Fall Knee Injury Case

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious and permanent injuries for a victim. This type of accident can occur on virtually any type of premises, including your apartment building if it is not maintained in appropriate condition. As seasoned Chicago slip and fall lawyers, the attorneys at Therman Law Offices are ready to guide you through the legal process and to help you seek the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on a staircase and stoop area outside his apartment complex, resulting in a serious injury to his left leg. The injury required multiple surgeries to address. In his complaint seeking compensation for the injuries, the plaintiff alleged that the apartment complex was owned and operated by an association of condominium owners. He also alleged that these owners had a duty to maintain the staircase and stoop area in a safe manner according to Illinois’ Condominium Property Act. The plaintiff also pointed to the bylaws and declaration of the owner group, which provided for the maintenance and repair of the so-called “Common Elements” at the premises.

The plaintiff’s allegations also stated that the owner group and the entities that it had hired to construct and maintain the location of the accident did not respond to numerous complaints regarding the slippery nature of the staircase and stoop prior to when the injury occurred.

The defendants responded by admitting that they owned the premises on which the injury happened, but they argued that they did not act negligently. They also alleged that the plaintiff failed to use due care in avoiding the obvious and open condition of the staircase and stoop area. Evidence in the discovery process revealed that the plaintiff had slipped on two prior occasions when the staircase and stoop were wet.

Eventually, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff should have identified the open and obvious nature of the dangerous condition, and the plaintiff could have used an alternative route to access his apartment. The trial court granted the defendants’ motions for summary judgment and dismissed the case with prejudice, finding that the open and obvious doctrine applied here and that the plaintiff’s testimony indicated that he was aware of the danger.

The plaintiff appealed, and on review, the court reversed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment, finding that the area where the injury took place was a common element and that the owners had a statutory duty to maintain the area in a safe condition. The court remanded the action for further proceedings regarding the plaintiff’s injury.

If you were harmed in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the property owner. Knowing which defendants to name in the action and determining a way to go about establishing liability can be complicated, especially if you are also coping with severe injuries. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago team of personal injury lawyers is ready to assist you. Call us now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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