Truck stop scores legal victory in bizarre toilet paper injury case

A woman was injured at an Illinois truck stop location by a TP "booby trap."

TP

An Illinois court sided with truck stop giant Pilot Travel Centers in a strange case involving an injury caused by an industrial sized roll of toilet paper.

In an opinon published on Monday, an Illinois appeals court voided a previous verdict that found that Pilot Travel Centers LLC was responsible for injuries that a woman sustained when she was struck by a falling roll of toilet paper.

The majority opinion found that there was no evidence that Pilot could have known that someone would place the toilet paper “so as to booby trap the entryway into the stall in some sort of prank or intentional attack upon” on plaintiff Reona Pearson

Pearson, who was working as a waitress at a Denney’s restaurant in the Pilot location in St. Louis, Illinois, was injured on April 7, 2016, when she was hit on the head by a toilet paper roll as she entered a bathroom stall.

Pearson filed suit against Pilot months later, claiming that the truck stop failed to maintain the restroom in a safe condition.

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A court sided with Pearson during a July 2018 trial and found Pilot liable for her injuries.

Pilot appealed the verdict and on January 27, 2020, the court sided against Pearson, finding that Pilot could not be held accountable.

From the majority opinion:

“Because [Pearson] failed to establish that the toilet paper roll was on top of the door for a period of time long enough that Pilot should have or could have discovered it, we cannot find that Pilot had constructive notice of the condition [of the restroom].”

The majority ruling remands the case to the trial court with directions that it should enter a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in favor of Pilot.