Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Texas Roadhouse removes trip and fall suit to federal court

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Oct 20, 2015

An O’Fallon Texas Roadhouse removed a customer’s trip and fall case involving a raised rug to federal court.

Elizabeth Beliveau filed her Aug. 4 lawsuit against Texas Roadhouse of O’Fallon.

However, Texas Roadhouse filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on Sept. 8 through attorney Beth C. Boggs of Boggs Avellino Lach & Boggs in St. Louis, arguing that Texas Roadhouse of O’Fallon IL, LLC, was dissolved in November 2006. The actual owner of the restaurant at issue is Texas Roadhouse Holdings LLC.

“A corporation can only exist under the express laws of the state by which it was created and the right to sue as a dissolved corporation is limited to the time established by the legislature. At common law, dissolution terminated the legal existence of a corporation. Once dissolved, the corporation could neither sue nor be sued,” the motion states.

The plaintiff responded by amending the complaint to include the correct defendant.

According to the complaint, Beliveau claims she was leaving the O’Fallon restaurant, located at 1412 Central Park Circle in O’Fallon, on July 1 when a “raised and uneven rug caused her to fall and strike her head on a door jamb, causing her severe and permanent injuries to her head and body.”

She accuses the defendant of negligence for failing to provide a safe entrance and exit, remove or fix the rug, properly inspect the premises, warn customers about the tripping accident and make the entrance and exit safe for passage.

Beliveau seeks damages of more than $50,000, plus costs.

On Oct. 6, Texas Roadhouse Holdings removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The defendant argues that removal is proper based on the amount in controversy and diversity of citizenship.

The plaintiff is represented by John T. Hipskind and Brady M. McAninch of Hipskind and McAninch in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-441

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Hipskind & McAninch