Johnson v. City of Rockford

Decision Date06 October 1960
Docket NumberGen. No. 11405
PartiesPorter S. JOHNSON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF ROCKFORD, a municipal corporation, Tom Harkey, d/b/a Harkey's Service Station, Defendants-Appellees, and Sinclair Refining Co., a corporation, Defendant. . First Division
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Pedderson, Menzimer & Conde, Rockford, for appellant.

Maynard & Maynard, William E. Collins, Rockford, for appellees.

McNEAL, Presiding Justice.

This is an appeal by the plaintiff, Porter S. Johnson, from an order of the Circuit Court of Winnebago County granting a motion by the defendant City of Rockford to strike count I of plaintiff's complaint and dismissing the complaint as to said defendant, and also from a summary judgment entered by that court in favor of Tom Harkey, defendant in Count II of the complaint.

About 6:15 A.M. on February 23, 1959, plaintiff was walking east along the north side of 23rd Avenue near its intersection with Kishwaukee Street in Rockford. Tom Harkey operated a service station on property which was owned by the Sinclair Refining Company and which extended about 70 feet east of the intersection. Harkey pushed the snow from the driveway of the service station onto the sidewalk along the north side of 23rd Avenue and the walk became impassable. In order to go around the pile of snow plaintiff walked on the pavement. When he was at a point about 5 feet south of the north curb line and 50 feet east of Kishwaukee, plaintiff saw the lights of a westbound car at a distance of about 12 feet, but he was unable to get out of the way because of the slippery pavement. He was struck by the car and sustained serious injuries.

Plaintiff filed a three count complaint and demanded $50,000 damages in each count. In count I he alleged that the City of Rockford negligently (A) allowed the sidewalk to be piled high with snow and to remain so for a long time, (B) allowed the sidewalk to be obstructed and in a dangerous and unsafe condition for a long time, (C) permitted the condition to exist knowing that pedestrians would be forced to walk in the street which was dangerous, and (D) failed to provide a safe place for pedestrians along the north side of the avenue. In count II plaintiff alleged that Tom Harkey negligently (A) obstructed the sidewalk contrary to section 544, chapter 38, Illinois Revised Statutes, (B) obstructed the sidewalk contrary to the provisions of a city ordinance, and (C) piled snow on the sidewalk rendering it impassable and dangerous and forcing plaintiff to walk in the street. Count III was directed against the Sinclair Refining Company and contained the same charges of negligence alleged as A and B in count II.

Sinclair Refining Company filed a motion for summary judgment. According to the record the trial court considered this motion as a motion to strike and struck count III of the complaint, but took no further action in connection with this count. Harkey moved for summary judgment and the City of Rockford moved to strike count I of the complaint primarily on the grounds that the proximate cause of plaintiff's injury was the independent intervening act of the motorist, and not the negligence of those defendants in obstructing the walk. On appeal plaintiff makes no reference to the striking of count III against Sinclair, but confines his brief and argument to the actions of the trial court in granting the city's motion to strike and in entering a summary judgment in favor of Harkey.

As abstracted and as shown in the record, the order appealed from reads as follows: 'This day come the parties to this suit by their respective attorneys, and motion to strike by defendant City of Rockford, a Municipal Corporation, having been heretofore heard and continued for decision, on due consideration the Court grants said motion and complaint is dismissed as to City of Rockford.'

Under the provisions of section 77 of the Civil Practice Act appeals are allowed to review only final judgments or orders of the circuit court. Par. 77(1), Ch. 110, Illinois Revised Statutes. A final order or judgment is defined as one which disposes of the merits of the case and the rights of the parties either on the entire controversy or on some separate and definite branch thereof, so that, if affirmed, the trial court has only to proceed with the execution of the...

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13 cases
  • St. Joseph Data Service, Inc. v. Thomas Jefferson Life Ins. Co. of America
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 18, 1979
    ...take nothing," "defendant go hence without day," or phrases of equal import, were not final orders. Johnson v. City of Rockford (1960), 26 Ill.App.2d 133, 169 N.E.2d 534, Overruled, Peach v. Peach (1966), 73 Ill.App.2d 72, 218 N.E.2d 504; Thompson v. Contreras (1950), 340 Ill.App. 527, 92 N......
  • Central Wisconsin Motor Transport Co. v. Levin
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • January 7, 1966
    ...respecting such dismissed paragraphs. It was * * * 'no bar to another suit for the same cause of action.'' In Johnson v. City of Rockford, 26 Ill.App.2d 133, 169 N.E.2d 534 (1960), it was said (p. 137, 169 N.E.2d p. 'An order providing that certain parts of a complaint be dismissed but not ......
  • Peach v. Peach
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 6, 1966
    ...to the language in which the order or judgment is couched, in determining its finality. In Johnson v. City of Rockford, 26 Ill.App.2d 133 at page 137, 169 N.E.2d 534 at page 536 (2nd Dist.1960), the Court 'An order providing that certain parts of a complaint be dismissed but not adjudging t......
  • Micelli v. Micelli
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 20, 1963
    ...393; Brodsky v. Brodsky, 20 Ill.App.2d 587, 156 N.E.2d 608; Henson v. Renshaw, 25 Ill.App.2d 178, 166 N.E.2d 166; Johnson v. City of Rockford, 26 Ill.App.2d 133, 169 N.E.2d 534; Brenner v. Neu, 26 Ill.App.2d 319, 168 N.E.2d 449; Cannon v. Thompson, 28 Ill.App.2d 69, 170 N.E.2d 174; Barrow v......
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