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Hastings v. State

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

January 16, 2015

ROBIN D. HASTINGS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DU QUOIN STATE FAIR, and THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Defendants-Appellees

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 12-MR-303. Honorable Stephen P. McGlynn, Judge, presiding.

SYLLABUS

The trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's petition for a writ of certiorari following the Court of Claims' entry of summary judgment for the Du Quoin State Fair and the Department of Agriculture in plaintiff's action for the personal injuries she suffered when she slipped and fell on an " extremely slick concrete floor" while entering a bathhouse at the fairgrounds, since the Illinois Supreme Court has allowed a narrow exception to the general rule that Court of Claims' decisions are not subject to judicial review by holding that certiorari is available when the Court of Claims has deprived a party of his or her constitutional rights to due process, but plaintiff's writ was properly denied where the record showed she was afforded her due process rights.

For Appellant: Edward J. Szewczyk, Callis, Papa, Hale & Szewczyk, P.C., Granite City, IL.

For Appellees: Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Carolyn E. Shapiro, Solicitor General, Laura Wunder, Assistant Attorney General, Chicago, IL.

JUSTICE STEWART delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Cates and Justice Moore[1] concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 1284

STEWART, JUSTICE.

[¶1] The plaintiff, Robin D. Hastings, filed a complaint in the Illinois Court of Claims against the State of Illinois, specifically the Illinois Department of Agriculture (the Department). Hastings alleged that she suffered personal injuries while attending events at the Du Quoin State

Page 1285

Fairgrounds on August 21, 2008. She alleged that she slipped and fell on an " extremely slick concrete floor" while entering one of the women's bathhouses located on the fairgrounds. She alleged that she suffered, among other injuries, a fracture to her right kneecap as a result of the fall. The Court of Claims entered a summary judgment in favor of the Department. The plaintiff sought a review of the Court of Claims' decision, but the circuit court dismissed her petition for writ of certiorari. The plaintiff now appeals the circuit court's judgment. For the following reasons, we affirm.

[¶2] BACKGROUND

[¶3] On August 21, 2008, the plaintiff attended the Du Quoin State Fair at the Du Quoin fairgrounds, which is owned and operated by the Department. It had rained earlier that day, and the plaintiff wore flip-flops. The plaintiff walked through wet grass and on a wet sidewalk toward a bathhouse on the fairgrounds. At the bathhouse, she stepped into its entrance alcove and slipped as she reached to open the door.

[¶4] The sidewalk surface area where the plaintiff slipped and fell was more slippery than the sidewalk leading up to the bathhouse's alcove. The building and grounds maintenance supervisor for the fairgrounds testified in a discovery deposition that the sidewalk leading up to the bathhouse was " more of a coarse broom" finish, ...


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