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State

Boone County man awarded $1M in restaurant slip-and-fall

BELVIDERE - A jury awarded Boone County man $1 million, and his wife $75,000, settling a claim of negligence Friday against a Belvidere restaurant.

Judd Daniels of Garden Prairie, who suffers from an affliction that makes his bones susceptible to fractures, fell Aug. 7, 2006, while leaving the Steam Plant Restaurant.

The fall, he says, was caused by a wet floor that he didn't know was wet because the restaurant didn't put up a proper warning sign.

Daniels broke his arm in several places and says he might require additional surgeries. He has osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease that makes him more susceptible to fractures or easy cracking of the bone. He walked with the help of crutches at the time of the fall, but has since been in a wheelchair since his fractured arm can no longer support a crutch, he said.

"I've walked with crutches all my life. I know how to manipulate them and I know when I've messed up. This was a wet surface, it was not marked, it was definitely not an error on my behalf," Daniels said. "I was very unhappy that it happened there, but it is not anything that I felt I did wrong."

Defense attorney Joel Groenewold called the verdict "excessive" and said he and his client, Sali Lamani, the restaurant owner, will decide whether to appeal.

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