The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Woman Claims She Hurt Her Hand On Toilet Paper Dispenser

Sheri Schooley sued suburban Detroit restaurant Texas Roadhouse after she allegedly injured her hand on a toilet paper dispenser, according to an Associated Press article published on the web site of Fort Wayne television station WANE.

The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled 4-3 to allow the lawsuit to move ahead, ending two appeal attempts. The 58-year-old plaintiff admitted to reporters that her case involves a "bizarre story."

Sheri Schooley said she reached down for the toilet paper when the dispenser cover fell and struck her hand:

"It looked like the dispenser was up but it wasn't latched. At first I thought I was all right. I thought it was just bruised."

It was later discovered that her hand was broken and three years later, Sheri Schooley claims she's still unable to fully use her hand. She said she had to quit her job as an administrative assistant because the injury prevented her from being able to type.

However odd an injury may seem, skilled Chicago injury lawyers are trained to determine whether would-be clients should move ahead with a potential lawsuit.

This case just barely made it through. It doesn't mean she's won her case; it only means she can now pursue her lawsuit at trial.

Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly said there was no evidence that restaurant employees inspected the toilet dispensers. Beyond that, she said it's up to the lower court to decide liability:

"It is not for this court but rather for a jury to decide if the dispenser that harmed her constituted a dangerous condition."

Justice Stephen Markman wrote a scathing dissent of the decision:

"[Texas Roadhouse] apparently also had a legal duty to inspect for hazards that could not reasonably have been anticipated, such as a toilet paper dispenser opening unexpectedly."

Whatever the circumstances, meet with an Illinois injury attorney if you're unsure whether to file an injury claim.

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