Play area mishap blamed on Burger King in premises liability suit

Legal News Line Nov. 12, 2007, 8:58am

CHICAGO -- An Illinois plaintiff filed suit against the Burger King Corporation in October 2007 for a slip-and-fall that allegedly occurred in October 2003 at a Chicago Heights Burger King restaurant. If the dates alleged in the complaint are correct, the statute of limitations for this action expired two years ago. The complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County and prepared by the Chicago firm Evins & Sklare, Ltd., on behalf of Steven Simmons and his mother, Sara Allen. The suit alleges that Simmons, a child at the time of the incident, was playing at the restaurant's play gym area when he slipped and fell on "food and liquid" on the floor of the play area. The plaintiffs allege that Burger King carelessly and negligently maintained the play area and "permitted liquids and food to remain on the floor of the premises causing a hazardous condition to their patrons thereon." Furthermore, the restaurant allegedly failed to warn patrons of the hazardous condition within the play area. As a result of Burger King's negligence, the suit alleges, Simmons "was caused to and did slip and fall with great force and violence, with injuries resulting therefrom." The suit seeks more than $50,000 in compensatory and special damages. The lawsuit might not get far if the incident in fact occurred on Oct. 21, 2003, as mentioned twice in the complaint. Illinois law imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury actions, and the suit was filed on Oct. 11, 2007. If the date alleged in Simmons' complaint was merely the result of a clerical error, the plaintiffs may need to seek leave from the court to file an amended complaint. The complaint was signed by Samuel L. Evins of Evins & Sklare. The firm holds offices in downtown Chicago and specializes in personal injury actions, as well as criminal and medical malpractice cases. To this end, the firm offers a 24-hour medical malpractice hotline through its web site for interested clients. The Burger King case is set for an initial status hearing on Jan. 8, 2008, before Judge Randye A. Kogan in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Burger King has filed an appearance but has not yet answered the complaint.

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