The usual suspects are always named in a premise liability lawsuit. Plaintiff’s counsel routinely names the owner of the property and any tenants who are leasing the property. The first questions that should be asked is, “who is responsible for the location where the injury occurred.”
I was recently confronted with this issue when my client was sued by a tenant who was injured at property it owned, but subject to a repurchase agreement. The repurchase agreement gave control of the location where the injury occurred to the tenant, and not my client. We filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that my client did not have control of the location where the plaintiff was injured and relied on the following case law:
In their response brief, Plaintiff’s counsel made the typical argument, by attempting to find a question of fact as to whether the area in question was under my client’s control. Despite Plaintiff’s attempts to circumvent this clear principle of Illinois law, our motion to dismiss was granted and our client was dismissed from the lawsuit with prejudice. This is a perfect example of why detailed and thorough investigation of a claim at the very early stages of a case are so important, because finding these details early may win your case and save on litigation costs.