A woman who broke her arm at The Wiener's Circle may be allowed to sue the rowdy Lincoln Park hot dog stand.
“Weiner Circle owed her a duty of care as its invitee to protect her from or warn her of the dangers associated with the late night nature of its business,” according to an opinion from the Illinois Appeals Court.
Plaintiff Leah Libolt says she was visiting Chicago friends in October of 2011, when, after visiting a few bars, they stopped in at the Wiener Circle around 2 a.m. A scuffle with another customer ensued, Libolt was pushed, fell and broke her arm and wrist.
In a deposition, referenced in the opinion, Libolt friend Andrew Easton said, “He understood before arriving at the restaurant that Wiener Circle was ‘a place you have to go in Chicago to experience it. ... You're going to have the wait staff yell at you, curse at you, and make fun of you and belittle you, and it's part of the act. It's just how the restaurant works.’"
Easton first noticed the unidentified man after ordering his food. He noticed the man having a ‘fun’ back-and-forth with the wait staff, but that the interaction was getting ‘louder and more aggressive.’ He testified that there were four or five wait staff, and one of them yelled at the man and then "pulled out pepper spray, and they were saying that if he didn't calm down, they were going to spray him and then they were going to kick him out." The man then got in a shoving match with another customer and stumbled into Libolt, which is when she fell and was injured.
Wiener’s Circle representatives were not immediately available for comment.