Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case

Jane Higgins and Jessica Droste Simon recently obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case that was tried in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky.

The Plaintiff fell in the vestibule of a restaurant and broke her left knee resulting in four knee surgeries. The Plaintiff’s theory of liability was that the restaurant failed in its duty of ordinary care because the mat in its vestibule did not cover the entire tile floor of this area and that they failed in their duty to warn because it was raining and there was no wet floor sign present in the vestibule.

We defended on the basis that if the vestibule mat was any larger, the entrance and exit doors would make contact with it, causing it to buckle thereby creating a potential trip hazard and that the restaurant had no duty to warn of the obvious condition of rain.

The Plaintiff’s medicals were in excess of $240,000 and she also sought $500,000 in pain and suffering – we had obtained summary judgment on her lost earnings and future impairment prior to trial. The jury deliberated one hour before returning a defense verdict.

Linda Hawn v. Cascio Enterprises, d/b/a McDonald’s of Maysville

Lauren Crosby Thompson and Jessica Droste Simon successfully defended another premises liability personal injury action on behalf of their client, Cascio Enterprises, d/b/a McDonald’s, in Mason Circuit Court. In that action, the Plaintiff claimed she injured her wrist after falling on a wet floor in a McDonald’s restaurant in Maysville. The Plaintiff admitted to seeing wet floor signs in the area and her testimony and surveillance video of the interior of the restaurant confirm that an employee was visible cleaning in the area where Plaintiff fell. Plaintiff’s theory was that McDonald’s was negligent because the employee was mopping outside of the perimeter created by the three wet floor signs. McDonald’s defended by arguing that the Plaintiff had been adequately warned. The jury returned a verdict after less than one hour of deliberations in favor of the Defendant McDonald’s franchise owner.