Barbara Dunne vs. Maggiano's Inc., et al.


    Christopher E. Faenza obtained a defense verdict on June 2, 2008, for Maggiano's, Inc. Plaintiff, Barbara Dunne, claimed that she fractured her left wrist when she slipped and fell in the bar area as a result of a prior wine spill. There was no dispute that the restaurant employees were on notice of the spill. However, the employees were in the process of cleaning the spill at the time of plaintiff's fall, in accordance with the restaurant's policies and procedures. Because Mr. Faenza established that the employees were in the process of reasonably responding to the spill, the jury found that Maggiano's was not liable for plaintiff's damages.

    During trial, plaintiff's credibility was destroyed by her claim that she lost her job as a result of the incident. Mr. Faenza presented copious evidence to prove that plaintiff lost her job for other reasons, including evidence that she was a whistleblower and that she had purchased an interior decorating franchise business before she was terminated.

    Over the strong opposition of Yoka & Smith, plaintiff's motion for new trial was granted. Maggiano's, Inc., is currently considering an appeal.

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