Can Causation Be Based on Speculation In Slip and Fall Cases ?
In Connaghan v. Caplice, 325 Ill. App. 3d 245, 757 N.E.2d 971, 259 Ill. Dec. 108 (2001), the plaintiff testified that he "did not remember what caused him to fall." Connaghan, 325 Ill. App. 3d at 247.
The trial court found that "there was no evidence regarding the mechanism of plaintiff's fall and, therefore, a fact finder could only base causation on speculation," and, therefore, awarded defendant summary judgment which the Connaghan court affirmed. Connaghan, 325 Ill. App. 3d at 247-48.
In the wrongful death case of McInturff v. Chicago Title & Trust Co., 102 Ill. App. 2d 39, 243 N.E.2d 657 (1968), the court held since there "was no evidence as to how or by what means the decedent" fell, he could not "affirmatively and positively show that the defendant's negligence was the proximate cause of his injury." McInturff, 102 Ill. App. 2d at 48.
The negligence alleged in McInturff involved a violation of an ordinance and the court held there could only be liability imposed upon defendant for such negligence if the violation of the ordinance was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries. McInturff, 102 Ill. App. 2d at 48.