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Argentieri v. Apple American Group, LLC

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

August 27, 2013

VIRGINIA ARGENTIERI and DENNIS AGENTIERI, husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
APPLE AMERICAN GROUP, LLC, Defendant.

Submitted: August 2, 2013

Upon Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, DENIED.

Upon Defendant's Motion to Preclude Expert Testimony of Plaintiff's Liability Expert, DENIED.

James J. Haley, Jr., Esquire, Ferrara & Haley, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Plaintiffs Virginia and Dennis Argentieri.

Christine Kane, Esquire, White & Williams, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Defendant Apple American Group, LLC.

OPINION AND ORDER

Paul R. Wallace, Judge

I. Introduction

Plaintiffs Virginia and Dennis Argentieri ("The Argentieris") have sued Defendant Apple American Group, LLC ("Defendant"), in connection with a slip-and-fall accident at Defendant's restaurant ("Applebee's"), alleging Defendant was negligent in its failure to rectify a hazardous condition, and that Defendant was negligent in its design and layout of the tile walkway where the incident occurred.

For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant's Motion to Preclude Expert Testimony of Plaintiff's Liability Expert are both DENIED.

II. Factual Background[1]

On Friday, June 5, 2009, Mrs. Argentieri slipped and fell in Applebee's in Camden, Delaware. It was raining on the date of the incident. The fall occurred as Mrs. Argentieri made her way over a tile walkway to the women's restroom. The tile walkway led customers from the bar area of the restaurant en route to the restroom. The walkway also led to the kitchen, so servers would traverse the same walkway when exiting the kitchen. Just when Mrs. Argentieri was walking to the restroom, servers with large trays of food and drink were exiting the kitchen. Mrs. Argentieri stepped aside to avoid collision with the servers. Upon stepping out of the servers' path, Mrs. Argentieri slipped and fell. Mrs. Argentieri testified that although she did not see any water or liquid prior to slipping, after she fell, she felt moisture on her leg and saw a footprint left by her sneaker. Mrs. Argentieri claims she fell on her left side, resulting in injuries to her left wrist, left shoulder, and right knee. Mrs. Argentieri asserts claims for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and lost income. Mr. Argentieri claims loss of consortium.

III. Procedural Background

In March 2012, the Court heard oral argument on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, which was deferred, and Defendant's Motion to Preclude Expert Testimony, which was denied without prejudice due to the Court's grant of permission for Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint.[2] Following the Court's decision, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint.[3] In early February 2013, Mrs. Argentieri underwent shoulder surgery allegedly stemming from the incident upon which this suit is based. To allow time for Mrs. Argentieri's injury to be evaluated for permanency, the Court continued the trial. Before the continuance, however, Defendant filed a Renewed ...


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