STATE  OF  ILLINOIS  )                 

                                         ) SS.







PATRICIA CORCORAN,                                         )


                                                            Plaintiff,           ) 


v.                                                                                 )  No.: 95 L 00442  


SAUK TRAILS, INC., a Corporation,                       )



                                                            Defendant.      )




            NOW COMES the Defendant, SAUK TRAILS, INC., a Corporation, by and through its attorney, LAW OFFICES OF LOWELL D. SNORF, III, and moves this Honorable Court pursuant to 735 ILCS Par. 2-5/1005 for summary judgement as to Count II of Plaintiff’s complaint.  There is no material issue of fact that SAUK TRAILS, INC. (hereafter “Sauk Trails”), breached any duty to the Plaintiff, PATRICIA CORCORAN, or was the proximate cause of PATRICIA CORCORAN’S August 21, 1993 slip and fall occurring on a SAUK TRAILS’ bus.


            The Plaintiff, PATRICIA CORCORAN, claims to have fallen on SAUK TRAILS’ bus stairs  in the early morning hours of August 21, 1993.  SAUK TRAILS owned coach bus #200 on which Plaintiff, PATRICIA CORCORAN, was a passenger.  Norman Jamerson was the driver of the SAUK TRAILS bus on the date of the accident.  As a result of her August 21, 1993 slip and fall, PATRICIA CORCORAN filed a two count complaint, (Exhibit “1”).  Count I of the complaint was directed against NAPERVILLE CHARTER, INC.  By motion of November 2, 1995 the Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed NAPERVILLE CHARTER, INC. An order was entered dismissing NAPERVILLE CHARTER, INC., (Exhibit “2”).

            Count II of Plaintiff’s complaint is directed against SAUK TRAILS.  Count II, Par. 7 of Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that SAUK TRAILS had a duty to exercise reasonable care in the  maintenance of its bus.  Par. 8 of Count II focuses on SAUK TRAILS’ negligence in allowing water to accumulate on the SAUK TRAILS’ bus steps.

            SAUK TRAILS answered the complaint, asserting various affirmative defenses, (Exhibit “3”).  The Plaintiff answered the affirmative defenses, (Exhibit “4”).


            The Plaintiff, PATRICIA CORCORAN, was deposed on April 16, 1996, (Exhibit “5,” discovery deposition of PATRICIA CORCORAN with Exhibits “A-E”).  PATRICIA CORCORAN testified that on the morning of August 20, 1993 she and her son went to Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn, on 16th Street in Berwyn (Exhibit “5,” p. 6).  She and her son were with a group going to the Irish Fest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Exhibit “5,” p. 11).  They were to travel by bus.  When PATRICIA CORCORAN got on the bus it was clean, (Exhibit “5,” p. 13).  They left Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn at 10:30 a.m.; it took five to six hours to get to Milwaukee because of traffic, (Exhibit “5,” p. 12-13, 17).  Liquor was served on the bus, but not by anyone from SAUK TRAILS, (Exhibit “5,” p. 14).   She did not know where the liquor was stored, (Exhibit “5,” p. 14-15).

            On the way to the Fest, she did not see any water on the bus floor, (Exhibit “5,” p. 19).  On the way to the Irish Fest she had one hot Bailey’s and coffee, (Exhibit “5,” p. 19).  They arrived at the Irish Fest at 4:00 p.m., (Exhibit “5,” p. 20).  She was at the Fest from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., (Exhibit “5,” p. 20-21).  She got back to the SAUK TRAILS bus at 10:00 p.m.  The return trip from Milwaukee to Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn took two hours, (Exhibit “5,” p. 25).  The bus left at 12:00 p.m.

            The bus arrived back at Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn at 2:00 a.m., (Exhibit “5,” p. 27).  PATRICIA CORCORAN was  sitting mid-bus on the right side with her son, (Exhibit “5,” p. 27).  Arriving at Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn, people started getting off the bus.  She heard no complaints that the floor was dirty, or that the stairs were not properly maintained, (Exhibit “5,” p. 28).  At no time while she was on the bus did she overhear complaints to the driver that the bus was not properly equipped or maintained, (Exhibit “5,” p. 29).  She made no complaints to the driver the bus was either improperly equipped or had improper hand railings, (Exhibit “5,” p. 29).  At no time did she make complaints to the driver that the steps were slippery, (Exhibit “5,” p. 29-30).  As other passengers got off, she noticed the aisles were wet.  The bus had hand railings, (Exhibit “5,” p. 30).  She had been on these buses before and was familiar with where the railings were, (Exhibit “5,” p. 30).  She never heard any complaints from anyone that the stairs were slippery or unsafe, (Exhibit “5,” p. 30).

            Upon arriving back at Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn, she got up from her bus seat and walked toward the front of the coach, (Exhibit “5,” p. 30-31).  She walked up the aisle to the coach steps, (Exhibit “5,” p. 31).  The interior coach lights were on, (Exhibit “5,” p. 31).  She started to descend the stairs while grabbing hand railings on her left and right, (Exhibit “5,” p. 31).  She knew the floor was wet, (Exhibit “5,” p. 32).  She stepped onto the first step and her feet went out from under her, and she fell, (Exhibit “5,” p. 32-33).  While she said the stair was wet, she did not know what was causing it to be wet or how long it was wet, (Exhibit “5,” p. 32).  Prior to her fall, she heard no complaints by other passengers that the stairs were wet, (Exhibit “5,” p. 32).  Other than the water, she did not know what she slipped on; there was no other defect in the stairs, (Exhibit “5,” p. 34).  Nothing that the bus driver did caused her to fall, (Exhibit “5,” p. 36).  She was not sure how long the water was on the floor before she fell, (Exhibit “5,” p. 42).

            Norman Jamerson was the driver of the SAUK TRAILS bus on the morning of PATRICIA CORCORAN’S fall.  He was deposed on April 24, 1996.  His deposition is marked Exhibit “6,” with Exhibits “A,” “2,” and “3.”  Norman Jamerson testified he arrived at Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn at 10:30 a.m. to take a group to the Irish Fest, (Exhibit “6,” p. 6, 8).  Coolers were brought on the bus, but they were not supplied by SAUK TRAILS, (Exhibit “6,” p. 10).  The bus left Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn, arriving at the Festival at 1:00 p.m., (Exhibit “6,” p. 11).  He received no complaints by any passengers that there was anything spilled on the floor or that the stairs were wet, (Exhibit “6,” p. 16).

            On the return trip from the Festival, the bus did not leave Milwaukee until 1:00 a.m., (Exhibit “6,” p. 12).  On the way up to the Festival, no complaints were made to him that the bus was dirty, that the floor was slippery or wet, that the hand railings were improper, that the lighting was bad, or that the bus was improperly maintained, (Exhibit “6,” p. 12-13).  When they left the Fest, the coach interior was in good condition, (Exhibit “6,” p. 15).  The floors were not slippery or wet; the lights worked and the hand railings were in place, (Exhibit “6,” pp. 15-16).

            They arrived back at Bill and Ed’s Maple Inn at 2:15 a.m. and he did not see any debris on the floor.  He heard no complaints that the floor was wet, (Exhibit “6,” p. 18).  He never received any complaints that the stairs were wet, slippery, or dangerous, (Exhibit “6,” p. 18).

            When they arrived at Bill and Ed’s, he took a cooler off the bus, (Exhibit “6,” p. 19).  He did not notice the cooler leaking water, nor did he receive complaints that it was, (Exhibit “6,” p. 19).  When he arrived back at Bill and Ed’s, he received no complaints that the stairs were slippery or wet, or that the bus needed cleaning or was otherwise unsafe, (Exhibit “6,” p. 20).  He was told by someone that PATRICIA CORCORAN had fallen.  No complaints were made to him that the coolers were leaking water on the floor, (Exhibit “6,” p. 21).







            In order to hold SAUK TRAILS responsible for the Plaintiff's fall, it must be established  SAUK TRAILS owed a duty to PATRICIA CORCORAN and then breached the duty owed to PATRICIA CORCORAN.  Similarly, it must be established that SAUK TRAILS actions or inactions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s fall.

            Plaintiff alleges in Par. 7 of her Complaint the bus was not properly maintained, (Exhibit “1,” Par. 7).  She alleges in Par. 8 that water accumulated on the bus stairs causing her to fall, (Exhibit “1,” Par. 8).  In her Complaint, she alleges leaky coolers caused this water accumulation.  Id.  However, in her deposition, she knew nothing about a leaky cooler causing the water accumulation.  Specifically, she had no knowledge where the water came from, how long it was present, or whether Norman Jamerson knew it was present, (Exhibit “5,” p. 32, 42).  As such, her unsupported Complaint allegations do not raise a question of fact in a summary judgement proceeding.  Lesnick v. Estate of Lesnick.  82 Ill. App. 3d 1102, 403 N.E. 2d 683, 687 (1st Dist., 1980); Kimbrough v. Jewel Companies, Inc.  92 Ill. App. 3d 813, 416 N.E. 2d 328 (1st Dist., 1981).  Further, Norman Jamerson testified that any coolers on the bus were brought on by bus passengers and not supplied by SAUK TRAILS (Exhibit “6,” p. 10).

            There is further no testimony of what effect, if any, the stair water had on her fall.  PATRICIA CORCORAN testified that she got out of her seat at around 2:00 a.m. and walked toward the front of the Coach (Exhibit “5,” p. 30-31).  She had been on these buses before.  Id.  She noticed aisle-ways were lit, and the hand railings in place.  Id.  She grabbed the hand railing first, because the floor was wet (Exhibit “5,” p. 32).  She stepped down, and her feet went out from under her.  In essence, her testimony is that she noticed the floor was wet, grabbed the hand railings, stepped down, and then her legs went out from under her (Exhibit “5,” p. 34).  This testimony hardly establishes that any action or inaction on SAUK TRAILS part caused her fall.  For that matter, the existence or non-existence of water on either the floor or the steps has not been shown to have made the bus steps slippery.  Similarly, the existence of stair water has not been established as causing her fall.

            It is incumbent upon the Plaintiff to factually establish that SAUK TRAILS was responsible for the accumulation of water on the bus steps and that it knew or should have known about this condition.  The Plaintiff has not factually established the source of water, how long it was present, or whether SAUK TRAILS contributed to the water accumulation.  There has further been no showing by the Plaintiff what the effect the water had on her fall.

            Simply because SAUK TRAILS bus aisle-ways or stairs became wet does not mean SAUK TRAILS breached its duty to PATRICIA CORCORAN.  It is not enough for PATRICIA CORCORAN to allege she fell on Defendant’s wet floor or stairs.  The Plaintiff must go further and factually establish that water made the steps slippery or hazardous, and that this condition was caused by the Defendant.  Here, the Plaintiff has simply not established any causal condition between the wet steps and her fall.

            WHEREFORE, as there is no triable issue of fact sustaining the allegations contained in Count II of Plaintiff’s Complaint at Law, the Defendant, SAUK TRAILS, respectfully requests this Honorable Court enter a summary judgement in its favor and against the Plaintiff,  PATRICIA CORCORAN.



                                                                                    Respectfully Submitted,



                                                                                    Lowell D. Snorf, III

                                                                                    Attorney for the Defendant

                                                                                    SAUK TRAILS, INC.




Lowell D. Snorf, III


77 West Washington Street, Suite 703

Chicago, Illinois 60602

Telephone:  (312) 726-8961

Att. No.:  71148