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Suzanna Ishoo v. General Growth Properties

March 16, 2012

SUZANNA ISHOO,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GENERAL GROWTH PROPERTIES, INC., GENERAL GROWTH COMPANIES, INC., NORTHBROOK COURT, L.L.C., NORTHBROOK COURT, I L.L.C., NORTHBROOK COURT II, L.L.C., NORTHBROOK COURT MALL, A/K/A NORTHBROOK COURT SHOPPING CENTER, THE MILLARD GROUP, INC., AND MYDATT SERVICES, INC., A/K/A VALOR SECURITY SERVICES, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 09 L 128 Honorable James D. Egan, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Garcia

JUSTICE GARCIA delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Lampkin and Palmer concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 The plaintiff, Suzanna Ishoo, brought a negligence action against the defendants, General Growth Properties, Inc.; General Growth Companies, Inc.; Northbrook Court, L.L.C.; Northbrook Court I, L.L.C.; Northbrook Court II, L.L.C.; Northbrook Court Mall, a/k/a Northbrook Court Shopping Center; The Millard Group, Inc. (Millard); Mydatt Services, Inc., a/k/a Valor Security Services (Valor); and Kone, Inc., seeking damages for injuries she sustained from a slip and fall at the Northbrook Court Mall (Northbrook Court), an indoor shopping mall. The circuit court granted the plaintiff's motion to voluntary dismiss Kone, Inc. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Westcoast Estates*fn1 , Millard, and Valor, from which the plaintiff appeals. We affirm.

¶ 2 BACKGROUND

¶ 3 On February 9, 2007, the plaintiff was working as a sales representative at the Neiman Marcus makeup counter in Northbrook Court. During a late afternoon break, the plaintiff and a co-worker, Erica Lindsey, left Neiman Marcus to purchase a cup of coffee from the nearby Starbucks. As the plaintiff walked across the lower level of the mall while talking to Lindsey, she slipped and fell, injuring her right shoulder.

¶ 4 The plaintiff filed her initial complaint on January 7, 2009, alleging negligence and respondeat superior liability against the defendants. She claimed four acts of negligence by the defendants:

"a. Failed to maintain and keep the walkways free of slip hazards;

b. Failed to remove a slippery substance or water from the common walkway near the escalator at or near Nieman Marcus store after it knew or should have known of the presence of said slipper substance or water;

c. Failed to warn or post signs of said slippery substance or water after it knew or should have known of the presence of said slippery substance or water; and

d. Caused said slippery substance or water to be present on the surface of the walkway."

¶ 5 The plaintiff filed a second amended complaint, adding that each defendant had "exclusive management responsibilities and control over the property" and negligently maintained the property, causing her injuries.

¶ 6 In Valor's interrogatories, the plaintiff was asked to describe the condition or substance that purportedly caused her to fall and to state the length of time the condition existed. The plaintiff responded that her fall was caused by what "appeared to be oil or similar substance on the floor near the escalator." She asserted that "Maintenance should have known of the oil."

ΒΆ 7 During the plaintiff's deposition, she testified that she and her co-worker exited the Neiman Marcus store and were walking on the lower level of the mall near an escalator when she slipped and fell. According to the plaintiff, her feet "went up into the air" and she landed on her right shoulder. She stood up and had "some type of substance" on her hands and pants. The ...


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