Illinois Court Upholds Denial of New Trial in Trip and Fall Case Based on Jury’s Finding that Plaintiff was 100% At Fault

Trip and fall accidents can happen virtually anywhere, and oftentimes they happen when you least expect. In some cases, the injuries heal relatively quickly. But in other instances, the injuries may leave the victim permanently disabled or facing a long road to recovery. If you were hurt in a trip and fall case, contact our seasoned team of Chicago personal injury lawyers today to learn more about whether you are entitled to compensation.

In a recent claim, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against a hotel corporation and a group of defendants providing conference services after he tripped on an uneven floor at the hotel location and allegedly sustained injuries to his back as a result. He alleged that the conference location had a carpeted floor, but that certain tiles underneath the carpet were missing making the floor uneven. The jury concluded that the plaintiff was entirely at fault for his injuries and the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial was denied.

The plaintiff appealed, alleging that the lower court made several reversible errors including failing to bar the defendant’s expert witnesses for not complying with procedural rules, for failing to bar an expert witness as providing cumulative testimony, for admitting evidence of the plaintiff’s prior health that was not at issue in the case, and for admitting evidence that violated the collateral source rule.

On review, the appellate court first noted that the plaintiff did not challenge the jury’s conclusion that he was 100% at fault for his injuries as being against the manifest weight of the evidence. Instead, the plaintiff focused on the trial court’s denial of his motion for a new trial. In reviewing the plaintiff’s assignments of error the appellate court must consider whether the lower court abused its discretion.

Next, it noted that the plaintiff did not specifically explain how each assignment of error pertaining to the evidence that was admitted resulted in an unfair trial. Also, it referred to prior Illinois Supreme Court cases in which the court concluded that an appellate court does not need to review a plaintiff’s appellate arguments regarding damages where the jury concluded that the defendant was not liable.

Reviewing the assignments of error regarding the expert witnesses, the appellate court found no errors with the court’s rulings and noted that the plaintiff did not make proper objections to each ruling during the lower court proceedings. It also noted that the plaintiff did not comply with some of the expert witness rules regarding when an expert witness must be disclosed. Ultimately, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s denial of a motion for a new trial based on its finding that the plaintiff was 100% at fault for his injuries.

If you were hurt in a trip and fall or slip and fall accident, it is important that you speak to an experienced Illinois premises liability lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are preserved and asserted to the fullest extent. We provide a free consultation to discuss your situation and to help you understand how the Illinois legal system works. Don’t wait, as time may be running out on your claim. Call us at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.

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