KFC slip-and-fall suit removed from Cook County to federal court

Legal News Line Nov. 12, 2007, 2:50am

CHICAGO -- A Chicago plaintiff slipped and fell near an entrance to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Chicago's South Side two years ago, leading to a lawsuit against the KFC corporation filed in September. The KFC Corporation recently removed the premises liability suit from the Circuit Court of Cook County to the U.S. District Court for Illinois' Northern District in Chicago. The complaint, filed by Lee Ward, alleges that as he attempted to enter the KFC at 1142 S. Western Avenue in Chicago on Sept. 4, 2005, he fell on a wet floor and sustained personal injuries. The complaint does not specify the exact nature of the plaintiff's injuries, only to state that he "was injured in his head, body and limbs, both internally and externally and he suffered bodily pain and injury and mental anguish from them (sic) until now and will continue so to suffer in the future." The plaintiff seeks more than $100,000 in medical damages, plus additional damages for future pain and suffering. According to the complaint, KFC is liable because the restaurant carelessly and negligently "permitted and allowed said floor leading into the restaurant to be in an unsafe condition," and failed to warn the plaintiff and the public of the allegedly hazardous condition. The complaint contains a number of typographical errors and, as KFC mentioned in its notice of removal, omitted portions of key paragraphs from the complaint. "Therefore, it is difficult to determine from the Complaint the exact nature of the plaintiff's claims," the defendant added. The plaintiff is represented by Renee T. Vogt of Chicago. Vogt, who runs a solo firm in downtown Chicago, has practiced in Illinois since 1984 and specializes in personal injury. Among the claims Vogt typically handles are auto accident cases, slip-and-falls, work-related injuries, products liability, and medical malpractice. Vogt's site offers free online case evaluations to prospective clients with personal injury claims, and states: "The axiom, "it is better to be safe than sorry" is never truer than in matters of a legal nature." Defendant KFC Corporation is represented by Andrew K. Miller of the Miller Law Group, LLC, in Hinsdale, Ill. The plaintiff has not objected to the removal notice and the case will proceed before Judge William J. Hibbler in the District Court.

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