Moto Mart owner files to appeal slip and fall verdict

Amelia Flood Jan. 4, 2010, 8:57am


The owner of the Moto Mart chain of convenience stores will appeal a September judgment entered against it in Madison County over a suit involving a patron's slip and fall.

FKG Oil Company filed its notice of appeal Dec. 31, arguing that Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder ignored "substantial evidence," in directing a verdict of negligence against the company as a sanction for what she called its "cavalier" attitude toward the case.

The jury then awarded plaintiffs John and Linda Linkes about
$390,000 in damages.

FKG had argued that John Linkes contributed to his slip and fall that tore ligaments in his knee at an Edwardsville Moto Mart. Linda Linkes sued on a claim of loss of consortium.

The company was sanctioned prior to the September trial for
discovery violations.

Crowder directed the jury's verdict after testimony by FKG employees did not match answers given in interrogatories and the company produced a document near the end of the suit's trial that it had claimed could not be found.

The company and the plaintiffs then filed motions for a new trial that Crowder denied Dec. 1.

In its notice of appeal, FKG argues that the jury could have found the Edwardsville Moto Mart's employees weren't negligent and that
John Linkes was also at fault for the injury.

The notice of appeal notes that Crowder precluded evidence of John Linkes' contribution, barred the defendant from contesting claims that there were "numerous" slip and fall incidents at the company's stores in the five years before John Linkes fell and Crowder allowed improper expert testimony that prejudiced the jury.

The Linkeses are represented by Gordon Broom.

FKG is represented by Victor Avellino.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-410.

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