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Barefoot restaurant denies liability, seeks to transfer slip and fall suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 29, 2016

A Hardin restaurant owner seeks to transfer a woman’s suit alleging a leaky toilet caused her to slip and fall.

Rose Porter filed the lawsuit on Aug. 8 against Barefoot LLC.


She claims she was a customer at the Hardin restaurant on Jan. 17. She alleges she entered the restroom facility, where she slipped on a puddle of water from toilet leak.

She alleges the defendant failed to recognize that water was leaking from the toilet, failed to inspect the restroom and failed to remove the puddle of water from the restroom floor.

Barefoot answered the complaint on Sept. 28 through attorneys Beth Boggs and Michael Lach of Boggs Avellino Lach & Boggs in St. Louis.

In its affirmative defenses, the defendant argues that the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were caused by her own contributory negligence for failing to keep a careful lookout for her own safety.

The defendant also alleges she failed to mitigate her damages.

Porter filed a motion to strike the affirmative defenses on Oct. 25 through attorney Lanny Darr of Darr Law Offices in Alton.

She alleges the defendant’s affirmative defenses “are so wanting in details and/or factual statements that plaintiff is unable to respond to the same.”

She claims Barefoot fails to state what conduct caused or contributed to Porter’s injuries and fails to identify any conduct that can be legally classified as a failure to mitigate her damages.

“Defendant’s pleading fails to state with any degree of specificity how plaintiff failed to exercise reasonable care, inadequate look out or explain how her conduct caused, contributed to cause or proximately caused the damages claimed,” the motion states.

Barefoot also filed a motion to transfer venue based on forum non conveniens on Sept. 28. It argues that it does not do business in Madison County. It seeks to have the case transferred to Calhoun County.

Porter filed a motion to stay hearing on the defendant’s forum non conveniens request on Oct. 7.

She argues that a motion to dismiss or transfer venue based upon foreign non conveniens “is a factual determination that may not be properly resolved until the completion of discovery and identification of witnesses.”

Barefoot objected to the motion on Nov. 3.

The defendant argues that it factual plead its basis for the transfer request.

Porter responded to Barefoot’s motion to transfer venue on Nov. 18. She argues that the defendant’s registered agent is in Madison County.

“There is no prejudice to the defendant in granting a stay on its motion until sufficient evidence has been produced relative to whether defendant conducts its normal business in this county,” the response states.

Porter seeks a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus court costs.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-1121

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