Summary Judgment - Grocery Store Slip and Fall 

Attorney Lauren Rafferty obtained summary judgment in a recent premises liability case in McLean County, saving their grocery store client from an upcoming trial.  The plaintiff claimed he slipped and fell on drops of a blue liquid, which he assumed was laundry detergent, in a Bloomington, Illinois grocery store, and blamed the store for his fall.  

LPP's attorneys elicited crucial testimony from the plaintiff at his deposition, including that he did not see the substance before he fell; he did not know what it was or how long it had been on the floor; and he had no knowledge that any grocery store personnel knew about the blue liquid before he fell.  He likewise could not say that the substance was in any way related to the store's business.  With that testimony, LPP moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff had no evidence that the grocery store knew or should have known about the liquid on the floor prior to the fall.  Plaintiff's response and oral argument centered around his belief that he could proceed to trial even without this critical evidence.  While it is true that a plaintiff need not prove his entire case at the summary judgment stage, he must have some evidence that supports his cause of action.  The McLean County Court confirmed LPP's arguments and granted summary judgment in favor of LPP's client, finding that the plaintiff had failed to present key evidence to support his claim that the store had notice of the liquid before his fall.