Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Mar. 30, 2015, 5:03pm

Midwest Snow and Ice has filed a counterclaim against a Fairview Heights Burger King, seeking contractual indemnity in an icy slip and fall lawsuit.

John F. Spieker filed suit against Liberty Restaurant Group, doing business as Burger King, and Midwest Snow and Ice last November. In his complaint, Spieker alleges he parked his vehicle in a handicapped parking spot on the Burger King parking lot at 401 Lincoln Highway in Fairview Heights on Jan. 10 at about 7:45 p.m. when he slipped on snow and ice.

As a result of the fall, Spieker suffered leg, hip, arm and hand injuries, became sick, sore lame, disordered and disabled, incurred medical costs and experienced pain and suffering, the complaint states.

Spieker blames the defendants for causing his fall, accusing them of negligently failing to properly maintain the sidewalks, failing to warn of the dangerous condition, failing to reasonably inspect the premises and allowing the property to remain in a slippery condition.

Midwest Snow and Ice answered the complaint on Dec. 16, denying the allegations against it. Instead, it accused Spieker of causing any alleged injuries by failing to keep a careful lookout, failing to exercise ordinary care for his own safety when he knew or should have known of the potential dangers posed by inclement weather, failing to avoid any ice and snow in the parking lot and acting in a negligent manner.

Burger King answered the complaint on Jan. 6, denying the allegations against it and arguing the plaintiff’s own negligence caused any alleged injuries.

The defendant claims any alleged injuries “were not directly or proximately caused by any act or omission of this defendant, but were the result of independent and/or intervening causes, and/or the negligence of other parties, over which defendant had no control and which were not known to or reasonably foreseeable by the defendant.”

Midwest Snow and Ice also filed a two-count counterclaim against Liberty Restaurant Group, L.P., on March 23, alleging contractual indemnity and contribution. It argues that if it is required to pay an award to Spieker, then it is entitled to contractual indemnity from Liberty.

According to the contract between the two defendants, in the event of a lawsuit where Liberty may be liable, the counter-defendant is required to “hold harmless out representatives and us from and against these claims.” Liberty is also required to pay costs and expenses of the lawsuit, the contract states.

Spieker seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Circuit Judge Robert LeChien scheduled a case management conference for June 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Spieker is represented by Julie Constance Elliot of the Law Offices of Williams, Caponi and Associates in Belleville.

Midwest Snow and Ice is represented by John P. Cunningham of Brown & James in Belleville.

Liberty Restaurant Group, doing business as Burger King, is represented by Stephen C. Christiansen of the Law Offices of Rouse and Cary in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-749

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