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Another Defense Wins victory to share. This one is a actually comical. The plaintiff claimed she was hit on the right side of her face and the right shoulder by a case of water bottles that fell from the top of a water bottle display in a store. In fact, she said 2- 3 cases came falling down for some unknown reason. We can all envision is situation where this could occur, but wait, there’s…
Another great win for a retailer in Illinois and this one was upheld by the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois.  Here is what took place.  The plaintiff was at laundry mat and he went into a nearby grocery store to use the ATM machine.  After taking a few steps into the store he turned right and claims he slipped and fell in a thick substance on the floor.  An employee came upon the plaintiff…
As of November 1, 2019, Oklahoma is the latest to the list of unrestricted conceal carry law states.  This change in law allows anyone 21 years or older (or 18 years old and older if a member of the military or an honorably discharged veteran) who can legally own a firearm to openly or concealed carry without a permit.  If you have one of my charts that outlines the open and concealed carry laws for…
The Illinois Appellate Court recently issued a ruling regarding criminal acts of third parties that will be very useful in defending retail, restaurant and hospitality companies for years to come. The following is a summary of the opinion and a copy of the opinion is attached: In Witcher v. 1104 Madison St. Restaurant, 2019 IL App (1st) 181641, the plaintiff’s-decedent was stabbed in the neck and killed while at a restaurant and lounge in Chicago. …
The majority of the country has some form of a dram-shop law or social host liability law, imposing liability on the servers or retailers of alcohol for the acts of those who become intoxicated. These laws differ greatly from state to state and these law are not the only way victims of an intoxicated customer can seek damages against a bar or restaurant. The attached article was published in the July 2019 edition of DRI’s…
I recently wrote an article about how the natural accumulation doctrine applies inside the premises, not just outside, and that must have brought me luck because shortly thereafter I succeeded in obtaining summary judgment in DuPage County for my client based on natural accumulation inside the store. The plaintiff slipped and fell in water just after she entered the store.  The plaintiff did not report her incident until a few days later and she could…
A plaintiff’s attorney recently told me the natural accumulation doctrine does not apply inside the premises, and he inferred I was a little crazy for saying it did.  Looks like someone needs to spend a little more time on Westlaw, and it isn’t me. The natural accumulation doctrine is a wonderful thing because it is one of the most logical and practical laws in Illinois and it is generally followed by all judges.  When it…
In the Winter 2019 edition of DRI’s In-House Quarterly, I published an article that will hopefully be useful for all retail, restaurant and hospitality companies:  Violent Criminal Attacks – Preparation, Response and Action. The article addresses how companies can best prepare before violent criminal attacks take place, how to properly respond in the face of such an attack and then how to take action after an attack. A copy of the article is below.…
We usually think of sexual harassment claims involving employees who are harassed by other employees but recently the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an EEOC verdict against a retailer which involved an employee allegedly sexually harassed by a customer.   This ruling should put all retail, restaurant and hospitality companies on notice – and this may be a good time to re-evaluate those sexual harassment policies. Case Facts: The facts presented at trial were very…
One of the publications that is unique to the Retail & Hospitality Committee of DRI is the newsletter, Customer Connection, and a new edition was recently released – see the link below to view this quarter’s edition.  This edition’s articles discuss topics such as third party criminal acts with a firearm, best practices for protecting the franchisor’s brand, the joint-employer standard, spoliation issues and mode of operation. As a plug to my own project, I…