Wendy's sued over parking lot mishap

Legal News Line Nov. 27, 2007, 7:53am

CHICAGO -- A Chicago plaintiff sued Wendy's International, Inc., in the Circuit Court of Cook County over injuries allegedly sustained during a 2005 trip and fall in a Wendy's parking lot. According to the suit filed on behalf of plaintiff Walter Polniak, the Wendy's establishment at 1623 W. Division Street in Chicago allegedly failed to properly repair and maintain the cement wheel stops in its parking lot. As a result, "metal spikes" protruded from the fixture. The plaintiff allegedly tripped over one of the spikes and "twisted his knees, back and hurting his shoulder." The suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages from Wendy's. The plaintiff is represented by Joseph A. Leonardi of the Law Offices of Joseph A. Leonardi, a Chicago firm. According to court documents, the suit was filed Oct. 1, while the incident allegedly occurred on Sept. 30, 2005. Illinois imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury actions, so if the incident in fact occurred on the date alleged, the statute would have expired on Sept.30, 2007. The plaintiff might soon face a motion to dismiss on that ground. Wendy's is represented by Hinshaw Culbertson LLP, a national firm that specializes in business litigation and corporate defense, among other areas. The case is currently pending before Judge Diane J. Larsen in the Circuit Court of Cook County's Law Division. The first case management hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2008. Larsen is the judge responsible for recently declaring unconstitutional the state's caps on damages law in medical malpractice cases.

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