In a slip-and-fall case, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for a national retailer after finding that a woman who fell in an Indiana store failed to prove the store had knowledge of a hazard on its premises. In this case, the plaintiff said she slipped and fell in the store and assumed she slipped on water. However, other patrons and store employees who assisted the plaintiff after she fell reported no water on the floor. The plaintiff allegedly suffered a debilitating fracture to her leg, which she claimed completely disabled her. The trial court granted summary judgment in the retailer’s favor, ruling that the plaintiff failed to prove that the retailer breached its duty of care to her. The 7th Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling, stating that the plaintiff relied solely on speculation that the alleged hazard existed in the store prior to her fall. In the appellate court’s view, speculation does not defeat summary judgment. Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Edward W. Hearn, represented the retailer in trial court and Shareholder, Garrett L. Boehm, Jr., represented Johnson & Bell’s client on appeal.
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