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Case Law Update: Forum Non Conveniens in Slip and Fall

Wagner v. Eagle Food Centers, Inc., No. 1-08-3213 (2-10-10) found that a plaintiff, a resident of Will County, slipped and fell at grocery store in Joliet, and filed in Will County a premises liability claim against store and, later, products liability claims against Clorox, the manufacturer of the Tilex product which was claimed to have leaked from package and spilled onto floor, and a related medical malpractice claim. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed seventh amended complaint in Will County, the day after court ordered Plaintiffs to answer Defendants’ supplemental interrogatories as to factual basis for claims that product leaked or had insufficient tamper resistance. One year later, Plaintiffs filed complaint in Cook County. Judge improperly denied Defendants’ forum non conveniens motion to dismiss or transfer, as private interest factors and public interest factors strongly favored Will County venue. Location of treating physician, and of parties’ attorneys, is to be given little weight. This first district Illinois case will impact slip and fall law.

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