Howlett v. Doglio, No. 30805.

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtWILSON
Citation83 N.E.2d 708,402 Ill. 311
Docket NumberNo. 30805.
Decision Date19 January 1949
PartiesHOWLETT v. DOGLIO et al.

402 Ill. 311
83 N.E.2d 708

HOWLETT
v.
DOGLIO et al.

No. 30805.

Supreme Court of Illinois.

Jan. 19, 1949.


[83 N.E.2d 710]

Appeal from Appellate Court, Third District, on Appeal from Circuit Court, Christian County; Ward P. Holt, Judge.

Action by Hattie Howlett against Lena Doglio and Irene Giacopazzi for death of Dorothy M. Lawler, deceased. From judgment of Appellate Court reversing judgmnts for plaintiff, 79 N.E.2d 864, 334 Ill.App. 512, plaintiff appeals.

Judgment of Appellate Court affirmed.

Harold Broverman and Scott Hoover, both of Taylorville, for appellant.

Hershey & Bliss, of Taylorville, and Ekern, Meyers, & Mathias, of Chicago (Donald L. Thompson, of Chicago, of counsel), for appellees.


WILSON, Justice.

This appeal presents for decision the construction of section 14 of the Liquor Control Act, commonly known and herein referred to as the Dram Shop Act, (Ill.Rev.Stat.1947, chap. 43, par. 135,) which, so far as relevant, provides, ‘Every husband, wife, child, parent, guardian, employer or other person, who shall be injured, in person or property, or means of support, by any intoxicated person, or in consequence of the intoxication, habitual or otherwise, of any person, shall have a right of action in his or her own name, severally or jointly, against any person or persons who shall, by selling or giving alcoholic liquor, have caused the intoxication, in whole or in part, of such person; and any person owning, renting, leasing or permitting the occupation of any building or premises, and having knowledge that alcoholic liquors are to be sold therein, or who having leased the same for other purposes, shall knowingly permit therein the sale of any alcoholic liquors that have caused, in whole or in part, the intoxication of any person, shall be liable, severally or jointly, with the person or persons selling or giving alcoholic liquors aforesaid, for all damages sustained, and for exemplary damages'.

From the pleadings and the evidence it appears that, on July 10, 1946, Lena Doglio and Irene Giacopazzi were each engaged in the business of operating taverns in Christian County, known as ‘Lena's tavern’ and ‘Louie's Tavern,’ respectively. Both women sold and served alcoholic liquor at retail under licenses issued by the county and the State. On the day named, Mannis McGarvey was served several drinks of intoxicating liquor in each of the taverns by the respective proprietors and, as a direct and proximate result, became intoxicated. McGarvey, while under the influence of the intoxicants imbibed in the taverns of defendants, operated an automobile on State Route No. 104, in Christian County, proceeding in an easterly direction. At the same time, Dorothy M. Lawler was riding as a passenger in an automobile on the same highway in a westerly direction. The two automobiles collided at a point near the eastern edge of the village of Kincaid when McGarvey, still under the influence of the intoxicating alcoholic liquor, proceeding in the left-hand lane, drove his automobile directly into the path of the automobile in which Dorothy Lawler was riding. She sustained fatal injuries.

By her complaint filed in the circuit court of Christian County on January 2, 1947, the plaintiff, Hattie Howlett, mother of Dorothy M. Lawler, charged that the death of her daughter was the direct and proximate result of McGarvey's intoxication which, in turn, had resulted from his drinking intoxicating liquor in the taverns of the defendants, Lena Doglio and Irene Giacopazzi, and that ‘as a direct and proximate result of the death of Dorothy M. Lawler, the plaintiff, Hattie Howlett, has been damaged

[83 N.E.2d 711]

in her property in the sum of Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars,’ as against each defendant. Answering, defendants denied the material allegations of the complaint and, specifically, that plaintiff was entitled to recover damages in any amount against them.

The testimony of plaintiff is the only evidence bearing upon her claim for damages. She testified that her daughter, Dorothy Lawler, was eighteen years of age at the time of her death, unmarried, and had been living with her; that she had been employed at the ‘telephone office’ since Christmas, 1945, and that she was industrious, assisted with the household duties and ‘didn't throw her money away.’ It also appears that Dorothy Lawler had previously worked with the telephone company and, also, in a drugstore and a variety store in Taylorville. Defendants offered no evidence in their own behalf, resting their defense upon the proposition that plaintiff suffered no ‘property’ damage from her daughter's death.

At the conclusion of plaintiff's evidence, defendants' motions for a directed verdict were denied. The jury returned verdicts in favor of plaintiff and against each defendant for $3,000. Judgments were entered on the verdicts. Motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdicts and for a new trial were made and denied. Upon an appeal prosecuted by defendants to the Appellate Court for the Third District, the judgments were reversed. 334 Ill.App. 512, 79 N.E.2d 864. We have granted plaintiff's petition for leave to appeal.

Plaintiff did not allege, that, as the result of her daughter's death, she was injured ‘in person’ or her ‘means of support.’ Her claim against each defendant was limited to damage ‘in her property.’ To sustain the judgment of the Appellate Court, defendants maintain that the injury to ‘property’ for which recovery is allowed under the ameliorative provisions of the Dram Shop Act is limited to injury to tangible real or personal property and does not include ‘pecuniary injuries' resultant from death or wrongful act, as contemplated in the Injuries Act, commonly known as the Wrongful Death Act. In particular, defendants urge that when death results from the intoxication of another person, as here, a dependent person has no remedy against a tavern keeper under the Dram Shop Act except for loss to means of support, and that an action for injury to ‘means of support’ is not an action for injury ‘in property.’ Plaintiff concedes that the person or the body of a human being is not property, stating she does not contend that human life, per se, is...

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103 practice notes
  • Stevens v. Lou's Lemon Tree, Ltd., Nos. 1-88-0963
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 15, 1989
    ...519 N.E.2d 121. The right of recovery by virtue of negligence caused by intoxication was unknown at common law. (Howlett v. Doglio (1949), 402 Ill. 311, 318, 83 N.E.2d 708; Thompson v. Capasso (1959), 21 Ill.App.2d 1, 4, 157 N.E.2d 75.) The legislature has recognized such an action in the A......
  • Vesely v. Sager
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • June 24, 1971
    ...159] intoxicated, injured himself or a third person. 3 (Collier v. Stamatis (1945) 63 Ariz. 285, 162 P.2d 125; Howlett v. Doglio (1949) 402 Ill. 311, 83 N.E.2d 708; State for Use of Joyce v. Hatfield (1951) 197 Md. 249, 78 A.2d 754; Seibel v. Leach (1939) 233 Wis. 66, 288 N.W. 774; see 45 A......
  • Williams v. Manchester, No. 104524.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 3, 2008
    ...concurrently with the death of the injured party, and there was no right of recovery after the injured person's death. Howlett v. Doglio, 402 Ill. 311, 319, 83 N.E.2d 708 (1949). Also at common law, there was no cause of action to recover damages for the death of another by wrongful act, ne......
  • Lawrence v. Regent Realty Group, Inc., No. 88237.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • July 26, 2001
    ...v. Bibb, 6 Ill.2d 112, 126 N.E.2d 688 (1955); Cedar Park Cemetery Ass'n v. Cooper, 408 Ill. 79, 96 N.E.2d 482 (1951); Howlett v. Doglio, 402 Ill. 311, 318, 83 N.E.2d 708 (1949) ("Although the Dram Shop Act is penal in character and should be strictly construed, [citations] the legislation i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
103 cases
  • Stevens v. Lou's Lemon Tree, Ltd., Nos. 1-88-0963
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 15, 1989
    ...519 N.E.2d 121. The right of recovery by virtue of negligence caused by intoxication was unknown at common law. (Howlett v. Doglio (1949), 402 Ill. 311, 318, 83 N.E.2d 708; Thompson v. Capasso (1959), 21 Ill.App.2d 1, 4, 157 N.E.2d 75.) The legislature has recognized such an action in the A......
  • Vesely v. Sager
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • June 24, 1971
    ...159] intoxicated, injured himself or a third person. 3 (Collier v. Stamatis (1945) 63 Ariz. 285, 162 P.2d 125; Howlett v. Doglio (1949) 402 Ill. 311, 83 N.E.2d 708; State for Use of Joyce v. Hatfield (1951) 197 Md. 249, 78 A.2d 754; Seibel v. Leach (1939) 233 Wis. 66, 288 N.W. 774; see 45 A......
  • Williams v. Manchester, No. 104524.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 3, 2008
    ...concurrently with the death of the injured party, and there was no right of recovery after the injured person's death. Howlett v. Doglio, 402 Ill. 311, 319, 83 N.E.2d 708 (1949). Also at common law, there was no cause of action to recover damages for the death of another by wrongful act, ne......
  • Lawrence v. Regent Realty Group, Inc., No. 88237.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • July 26, 2001
    ...v. Bibb, 6 Ill.2d 112, 126 N.E.2d 688 (1955); Cedar Park Cemetery Ass'n v. Cooper, 408 Ill. 79, 96 N.E.2d 482 (1951); Howlett v. Doglio, 402 Ill. 311, 318, 83 N.E.2d 708 (1949) ("Although the Dram Shop Act is penal in character and should be strictly construed, [citations] the legislation i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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