Julian Chiola v. Defendant Oil Change Franchise

  • Circuit Court of Cook County (Judge Varga)12/01/2005
    Counsel: Anthony M. Pinto
    Client: Defendant Oil Change Franchise
    Outcome: Defense Verdict

Synopsis:

On December 16, 2005, DBMS received a defense verdict for the firm's client, an oil change franchise, in Cook County, Illinois.

On July 25, 2000, plaintiff was working as a commercial painter at a Chicago location of the franchise. Plaintiff was painting the interior bay walls on a 24-foot extension ladder when he fell to the concrete floor. Plaintiff claimed that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly clean the concrete floor of an oily residue, causing plaintiff's fall.

Plaintiff sustained a fracture to his right cheekbone and a comminuted fracture of his right distal radius into the joint space. The injury to his right distal radius required surgical intervention involving open reduction and internal fixation. Plaintiff contended that the fracture to his distal radius resulted in permanent loss of approximately 50% of his right wrist range of motion as well as ongoing pain and strength deficits.

The defense contended that plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof to show that an oily residue caused the ladder to slip. The defense further contended that even if an oily residue was present, plaintiff's contributory negligence was the primary cause of his fall. The defense finally argued that plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages by complying with the recommendations of his treating physicians and therapists.

The jury agreed with the defendant after deliberating for just under 2 hours.