John P. Lynch and Jonathon Ibarra Obtain Summary Judgment for 'Good Samaritan' Defendant

John P. Lynch Jr.

John Lynch and Jon Ibarra represent a hardware store sued in Piatt County, Illinois by a plaintiff who suffered serious injuries during an unloading incident. The plaintiff, a truck driver, was delivering a walk-in cooler to a local restaurant on behalf of an appliance manufacturer.  When he arrived at the restaurant, he realized that the business had no loading dock or other method by which to offload the large appliance.  The truck had no liftgate and the plaintiff had only a dolly and a pallet jack. At the suggestion of the restaurant owner, the driver enlisted the assistance of the local hardware store owner and his forklift.  The owner of the store agreed to assist the plaintiff in offloading the cooler with his forklift under the direction of the plaintiff. During the process of unloading, the cooler tipped, and the plaintiff attempted to prevent the cooler from falling by pushing it back onto the forks of the forklift.  The cooler fell into the street anyway and struck the plaintiff in the head.  John and Jon moved for summary judgment asserting that, as a matter of law, the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault in causing the incident.  After a lengthy argument, the court granted their motion for summary judgment.