April 2011

Q&H Obtains Summary Judgment in Premises Case

Wheaton office shareholder Lissa Hamer and associate Aaron DeAngelis obtained summary judgment on behalf a large store chain arguing that the plaintiff had failed to provide any testimony or evidence to impute notice to the defendant of the presence of the foreign substance alleged to have been the cause of the plaintiff's slip and fall. The plaintiff in the action alleged that she slipped on shampoo near the check out aisle resulting in an aggravation of her preexisting low back issues.

Hamer Obtains Not Guilty For Driver in Pedestrian Claim

Lissa Hamer obtained a Not Guilty verdict following a three day trial in DuPage County. The plaintiff was a pedestrian crossing through the lanes of traffic on York Road near its intersection with Grand Avenue in Bensenville, IL. As he entered the left turn lane, he was struck by the SUV being operated by the defendant, Lissa's client. It was the plaintiff's contention that he was crossing through stopped vehicles and that the defendant had swung around the line of traffic to get into the left turn lane to catch the turn arrow. A companion of the plaintiff who witnessed the accident confirmed the plaintiff's version and went on to testify that he observed the defendant talking on her cell phone right before the contact occurred.

The defense contended that the defendant waited until the light turned to green and traffic began to move forward allowing her to move into the turn lane. Just as she was fully within the lane, she heard the screech of tires to her right, turned and saw the plaintiff running through traffic and directly in front of her car. As such, it was the contention of the defense that the plaintiff was more than 51% contributorily negligent.

The plaintiff sustained a complex fracture of the femur which required open reduction and fixation with intermedullary rodding. Medical expenses were over $60,000.00 and plaintiff suggested a value of $400,000.00 for compensation. The verdict was returned in favor of the defendant in less than 30 minutes.

Q&H Obtains Dismissal of Dram Shop Claim

Lissa Hamer and Aaron DeAngelis obtained a dismissal with prejudice on a Dram Shop claim alleging plaintiff's failure to plead the action within the statutory one year limitations period. The plaintiffs filed their complaint for personal injuries arising out of an automobile collision with an intoxicated driver. A Dram Shop count was timely filed in the original complaint directed against a country club which was located near the site of the collision and believed to be the location at which the driver had consumed alcohol. This entity was then voluntarily dismissed and five months later the count against Lissa's client was filed as part of the plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the filing of the new count should be allowed to "relate back" to the original dram count which had been dismissed.

It was the contention of the defense that there could be no relation back as the original dram defendant had ceased to exist with the dismissal. The work done by Aaron DeAngelis was instrumental as the court found the case law cited by the defense to be persuasive and dismissed the Dram Shop count with prejudice.

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