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Kimbrough v. Jewel Companies

OPINION FILED JANUARY 22, 1981.

ANN KIMBROUGH, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

JEWEL COMPANIES, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PAUL F. ELWARD, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ROMITI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The plaintiff sued the defendant after she slipped and fell on a ramp upon leaving the defendant's store. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment after the defendant produced a deposition of the plaintiff in which she repeatedly stated she did not know why she fell and interrogatories to which she responded there were no other known eyewitnesses.

We affirm.

The plaintiff, Ann Kimbrough, alleged in her unverified complaint that while she was in the exercise of due care, she exited from defendant's premises and fell in an area near the door from which she left the store.

She further alleged that this fall was caused by one or more of the following acts or omissions of the defendant:

1. failure to properly keep aforesaid area free and clear of all foreign substances and materials;

2. failure to properly and sufficiently design the aforesaid area;

3. failure to provide a sufficient and proper railing for persons exiting said area;

4. failure to properly inspect said area;

5. failure to provide proper protection for said area from the elements of the weather;

6. failure to provide a sufficient surface for the area;

7. otherwise improperly designed, maintained and controlled said area.

In answer to interrogatories, plaintiff stated that the names and addresses of persons other than the plaintiff who were witnesses to the accident or who were present immediately before, at the time of, or immediately after the occurrence, were unknown to the plaintiff at that time. In response to the question "state in detail what caused you to fall," plaintiff simply responded that she repeated and alleged the allegations in her complaint. Jewel thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment contending that since, as plaintiff admitted in her deposition, she had no idea why she fell, she was not aware of any construction defect in the ramp involved and the only foreign substance upon the surface of the ramp she was aware of were grease spots with which she never came into contact, she was unable to prove her case and there was no material issue of fact. Attached to this motion were certain pages of a deposition of the plaintiff.

In the deposition, the plaintiff stated that the ramp had been there for at least the two years she had been going to the store. She used that door more often than she did the other door. On the day of the accident, she walked out of the store and onto the ramp. She took one step on the ramp with her right foot and her feet went out from under her and she fell. She never got her left foot firmly planted. At the time she put her right foot on ...


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