Legal Memorandum: Proving a Premises Liability Case in IL

Issue: Under Illinois law, is it possible to prove a premises liability case based on testimony by the plaintiff alone?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Premises liability case; Plaintiff's testimony
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: 809 N.E.2d 156; 709 N.E.2d 270
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 09/01/2015

Illinois case law contains several cases that demonstrate causation can be proven by the plaintiff’s testimony alone.  In Lagestee v. Days Inn Management Co., 303 Ill. App. 3d 935, 709 N.E.2d 270 (1999), for example, there were no witnesses to the plaintiff’s fall at the defendant hotel, although there were some witnesses to the plaintiff’s abrasion shortly thereafter when he reported the fall.  In Luye v. Schopper, 348 Ill. App. 3d 767, 770, 809 N.E.2d 156, 159 (2004), although there were witnesses to the car door slamming on the plaintiff’s foot, the plaintiff’s own testimony that she never had had an injury to her foot or leg previously was relevant to a showing that the infections she subsequently developed were caused by the car-door injury.  And, in the case of McCall v. Chicago Board of Education, 228 Ill. App. 3d 803, 593 N.E.2d 621 (1992), the court held there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that the plaintiff’s infection was caused by contact with the door that slammed on her, given evidence that the plaintiff had no prior injuries and the bacterial infection was related to the accident, even though the evidence was somewhat conflicting as to where the door hit her leg. 


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