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Labruyere v. TBF

December 11, 2009

THOMAS E. LABRUYERE AND ANNETTE LABRUYERE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
TBF, INC., D/B/A THE FALLS RECEPTION & CONFERENCE CENTER, AND ROYAL GATE DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Thomas Labruyere (Plaintiff) and his wife Annette Labruyere allege claims for negligence and loss of consortium, respectively, against Defendants TBF, Inc. (TBF) and Royal Gate Dodge Chrysler Jeep of Columbia, Inc. (Royal Gate) for injuries sustained by Plaintiff when he allegedly slipped and fell on an accumulation of ice in the parking lot of TBF's conference center in March 2008. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332; therefore, Illinois law applies to this diversity action. This matter is currently before the Court on Defendants' motions for summary judgment (Docs. 41 and 42), on which a hearing was held October 26, 2009. The facts concerning the formation of the ice on which Plaintiff allegedly slipped, and the manner in which Defendants plowed the snow in the parking lot are both material and in dispute, thus rendering summary judgment inappropriate. Accordingly, both Defendant TBF's and Defendant Royal Gate's motions (Docs. 41 and 42) are DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is domiciled in St. Louis, Missouri. Defendant TBF owns and operates The Falls Reception and Conference Center ("The Falls") in Columbia, Illinois. Pursuant to a verbal agreement with TBF, Defendant Royal Gate cleared and salted The Falls parking lot. On March 5, 2008, Plaintiff attended a business meeting at The Falls and slipped and fell on an accumulation of ice in the parking lot.

Counts I and II of Plaintiffs' amended complaint (Doc. 16), against Defendant TBF, allege negligence and loss of consortium, respectively. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant TBF was negligent in one or more of the following respects:

(a) Improperly plowed snow which melted and created a "black ice" condition;

(b) Failed to apply salt or other snow melting agent to eliminate a "black ice" condition;

(c) Improperly designed its premises with a sloping surface that created an unnatural accumulation of ice; and

(d) Failed to otherwise remove an unnatural accumulation of "black ice" from its premises.

In Counts V and VI, Plaintiffs allege negligence and loss of consortium, respectively, against Defendant Royal Gate. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege Defendant Royal Gate was negligent through its agents and employees in one or more of the following respects:

(a) Improperly plowed snow which melted and created a "black ice" condition;

(b) Failed to apply salt or other snow melting agent to eliminate a "black ice" condition;

(c) Failed to otherwise remove an unnatural accumulation of "black ice" from the premises.

Counts III and IV against Robert Kelly, an employee of Royal Gate, have been ...


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