Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Case conference slated on restaurant's alleged negligence regarding injured inspector


By John Breslin | Dec 4, 2019


EDWARDSVILLE - A case management conference is due to take place in a legal action taken on behalf of a food safety inspector who alleges she was injured during a visit to an Alton restaurant.

Madison County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Ruth will hold the case conference Dec. 11 in the lawsuit filed by the county on behalf of inspector Candice Zipfel against Rib City Alton LLC.

The suit alleges the company failed to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition, which led to the lid of an ice machine coming off and injuring the inspector during a visit Dec. 14, 2016. The restaurant closed its doors Jan. 1, 2017.

Zipfel alleges she injured her left foot and ankle, which required her to pay medical expenses. She says she needed to apply for workers' compensation total disability benefits and permanent partial disability benefits.

However, Rib City, denying the claim of negligence, countered that Zipfel was negligent herself and caused the accident that led to her injuries.

As an alternative, and if found to be liable in part, Rib City has argued that any damages should be based on the share of blame. The plaintiff would not receive any damages if found more than 50 percent responsible, the counterclaim states.

Madison County seeks trial by jury, judgment sufficient to satisfy the plaintiff's subrogation lien, plus court costs. It is represented by attorney Matthew W. Kelly of Schrempf, Kelly & Napp Ltd. in Alton. The defendant is represented by attorney Stephen C. Christiansen of the Law Offices of Rouse and Cary of St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court Case number 18-L-1655

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