O'Banner v. McDonald’s Corp.

Supreme Court of Illinois

670 N.E.2d 632 (Ill. 1996)

Under the doctrine of apparent authority, a principal can be held vicariously liable for negligent acts of an apparent agent if the injury would not have occurred but for the injured party’s reasonable reliance on the apparent agency.

Relevant Facts

O’Banner (the plaintiff) entered a McDonald’s restaurant and used the restroom inside, where he slipped and fell, causing him injuries. As a result, the plaintiff brought a negligence claim against the owners of the restaurant and the owner of the franchise, McDonald’s Corp. (the defendant). The defendant moved for summary judgment, alleging that the franchisee owned the restaurant, and that the defendant could not be vicariously liable under an agency theory.

The trial court agreed, granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The appellate court reversed, finding that while no agency relationship existed, the defendant could still be held vicariously liable under the doctrine of apparent agency.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 23, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

670 N.E.2d 632 (Ill. 1996)