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Wiener's Circle Lawsuit Alleges 'Hostile Environment' After Customer Breaks Arm Is Moving Forward

Did the insults get out of hand?

The Wiener's Circle
The Wiener's Circle
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

A Wiener's Circle customer won her appeal against the infamous Lincoln Park hot dog stand which could allow her to sue the restaurant over a 2011 incident when she said she broke her wrist and arm. A state court opinion reversed a Cook County circuit court decision in 2013 that ruled in favor of the restaurant. How this could effect the raucous hot dog stand, which has relatively-new ownership and recently made headlines for making fun of presumptive-Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump remains to be seen.

While the court doesn't want to lay too much responsibility at the Wiener's Circle's feet, in their opinion, they offer up suggestions such as hiring a security guard or posting more visible signage warning patrons about the atmosphere. The restaurant "intentionally creates and knowingly maintains a volatile environment in which the likelihood of injury to its invitees is unreasonably high, it has a duty to protect its invitees or to warn them of the dangers," in the opinion of the state court.

The incident happened around 2 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2011, with about 15 people inside and more standing outside near the picnic benches. A boisterous customer was engaging in the typical drunken insult-slinging that the restaurant is known for, and prompted an employee to threaten the customer with pepper spray (which wasn't used). An employee did brandish a wire grill brush, according to the court docs. That led to another customer knocking that patron into the victim, who was seated. After the impact, the stumbling man ran out of the restaurant, according to the court documents.

The victim, Leah Libolt, apparently broke her elbow and wrist, needing two surgeries and four months of physical therapy which forced her to miss work. Read the court's full opinion below.

The Wiener's Circle

2622 North Clark Street, , IL 60614 (773) 477-7444 Visit Website