Mernick v. Chiodini, No. 56-M-7

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtSCHEINEMAN
Citation12 Ill.App.2d 249,139 N.E.2d 784
PartiesAdam MERNICK, Administrator of the Estate of Michael Mernick, Deceased, and DeWayne Davis, by Orville Davis, his Next Friend, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Ambrose CHIODINI, Ragon Russell, Hartsil Russell, and Helen Lindhorst, Administratrix of the Estate of Carl Lindhorst, Deceased, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date22 October 1956
Docket NumberNo. 56-M-7

Page 784

139 N.E.2d 784
12 Ill.App.2d 249
Adam MERNICK, Administrator of the Estate of Michael
Mernick, Deceased, and DeWayne Davis, by Orville
Davis, his Next Friend, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Ambrose CHIODINI, Ragon Russell, Hartsil Russell, and Helen
Lindhorst, Administratrix of the Estate of Carl
Lindhorst, Deceased, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 56-M-7.
Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District.
Oct. 22, 1956.

[12 Ill.App.2d 250]

Page 785

Walker & Williams, Robert F. Godfrey, East St. Louis, for appellants.

Pope & Driemeyer, East St. Louis (Frank M. Rain, East St. Louis, of counsel), for Ambrose Chiodini.

Baker, Kagy & Wagner, East St. Louis, for Ragon Russell.

Johnson, Johnson & Ducey, Belleville (Cornelius T. Ducey, Belleville, of counsel), for [12 Ill.App.2d 251] Helen Lindhorst.

SCHEINEMAN, Presiding Justice.

This is an action by two plaintiffs, one in a representative capacity for wrongful death, and one, a minor by next friend for damages for personal injuries incurred in an automobile-truck collision.

On August 12, 1954, in daylight, Carl Lindhorst was driving a 1940 Dodge in a southwardly directing along Highway No. 3 just north of Columbia, Illinois. Riding as guests with him were three other teen-agers, De Wayne Davis, Michael Mernick and Stanley Hudson. Proceeding in the opposite direction going northwardly were three passenger cars, the lead car being driven by defendant, Ambrose Chiodini. Following these three cars was a 2-ton truck loaded with 6 tons, or 600 watermelons, and driven by defendant Paul Miller, with whom defendant Hartsil Russell was riding. It is alleged by plaintiffs that at a point near

Page 786

a side road leading to the east called Woodland Lane, defendant Chiodini suddenly applied his brakes, giving no signal other than the flashing of his brake lights; that the sudden application of brakes caused the other passenger cars following to do the same in turn; that the truck driver likewise was caused to apply his brakes and, in doing so, swerved over the center line of the highway; that a collision between the Lindhorst car and the truck thereupon occurred resulting in the deaths of Carl Lindhorst and Michael Mernick and injuries to DeWayne Davis and Stanley Hudson.

The complaint joined as defendants, Paul Miller, alleging negligence in the operation of his truck; Ambrose Chiodini, driver of the lead car, alleging that his sudden application of his brakes was a proximate [12 Ill.App.2d 252] or contributing cause of the collision; Ragon Russell and Hartsil Russell on the theory they owned the watermelons and were liable on the principle of respondeat superior; and the administratrix of the estate of Carl Lindhorst, alleging wilful and wanton negligence of the deceased.

Of these five defendants, Hartsil Russell was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs during the course of the trial; not guilty verdicts were returned at the direction of the court in favor of Ragon Russell and Ambrose Chiodini at the close of plaintiffs' evidence; the jury returned a verdict of not guilty as to Helen Lindhorst, administratrix of the estate of Carl Lindhorst, and found Paul Miller guilty and assessed damages of plaintiff DeWayne Davis at $40,000 and damages of plaintiff Adam Mernick, administrator of the estate of Michael Mernick at $10,000. The judgments entered on the guilty verdicts are not appealed from, nor has a cross appeal been filed by defendant Paul Miller.

Plaintiffs contend that the trial court was in error in directing not guilty verdicts in favor of Ragon Russell and Ambrose Chiodini on the basis that plaintiffs' evidence made out a prima facie case against both said defendants, and the question of their liability should have been submitted to the jury.

As to defendant Helen Lindhorst, administratrix of the estate of Carl Lindhorst, plaintiffs contend that the trial court committed error in applying Section 2 of the Evidence Act so as to exclude from the jury's consideration all evidence given by her co-defendants as to her liability.

Considering first the contentions relative to defendant Chiodini, we must start with the proposition that a verdict shall not be directed if there is any evidence which, taken with its intendments most favorable[12 Ill.App.2d 253] to plaintiff, tends to prove the complaint. Seeds v. Chicago Transit Authority, 409 Ill. 566, 101 N.E.2d 84.

Confining our consideration of the evidence in the light of this rule and as applied solely to defendant Chiodini, we find from the testimony of defendant Chiodini himself, testifying under Sec. 60 of the Practice Act, Ill.Rev.Stat.1953, c. 110, § 184, that he was driving about 50 m.p.h. along said highway looking for a particular subdivision. As he approached Woodland Lane, the entrance to the subdivision, a guest in his car called his attention to it. He immediately applied his brakes, but was unable to slow down enough to turn into the drive. He then released his brakes and applied them again. He did not see the Lindhorst car approaching him, and did not know how close the car immediately behind him was.

Mr. Hollis, driver of the car immediately behind Chiodini, stated he was travelling 40 or 50 m.p.h. about 50 or 60 feet behind Chiodini; that Chiodini applied his brakes suddenly--a hard brake application; that he in turn had to lay on his brakes pretty hard; that he received no signal from Chiodini other than his brake lights; that Chiodini slowed down very fast to 20 m.p.h.; that both right...

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10 practice notes
  • Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., Civil Nos. 09-559-GPM
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Illinois
    • 30 Agosto 2010
    ...amount to a practical stop so as to require the same precautions as would be necessary in case of an actual stop." Mernick v. Chiodini, 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 139 N.E.2d 784, 787 (1956). See also 625 ILCS 5/11-804(c) (prohibiting a motorist from stopping or suddenly decreasing vehicle speed wit......
  • Zerbenski v. Tagliarino, No. 77-1165
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 6 Diciembre 1978
    ...could reasonably conclude that Tagliarino breached his duty to avoid damage to the vehicles following him. (Mernick v. Chiodini (1957), 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 139 N.E.2d 784.) Whether Tagliarino's sudden slowing of his vehicle was an act of negligence, was a question of fact to be resolved by t......
  • Joseph v. Schwartz, No. 80-1499
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 18 Mayo 1981
    ...lights by depression of the brake pedal. The cases cited by plaintiff in this regard are inapposite. In Mernick v. Chiodini (1956), 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 139 N.E.2d 784, the evidence showed that defendant made a sudden decrease in speed. In the instant case, although defendant reduced his spee......
  • Chakos v. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, No. 87-1446
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 10 Mayo 1988
    ...198.) ISTHA and Schrimsher each might have wanted to avoid liability by placing the blame on the other. (Mernick v. Chiodini (1956), 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 258, 139 N.E.2d 784.) Nevertheless, ISTHA has not clearly or specifically explained how Schrimsher's testimony would have aided it. His tes......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., Civil Nos. 09-559-GPM
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Illinois
    • 30 Agosto 2010
    ...amount to a practical stop so as to require the same precautions as would be necessary in case of an actual stop." Mernick v. Chiodini, 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 139 N.E.2d 784, 787 (1956). See also 625 ILCS 5/11-804(c) (prohibiting a motorist from stopping or suddenly decreasing vehicle speed wit......
  • Zerbenski v. Tagliarino, No. 77-1165
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 6 Diciembre 1978
    ...could reasonably conclude that Tagliarino breached his duty to avoid damage to the vehicles following him. (Mernick v. Chiodini (1957), 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 139 N.E.2d 784.) Whether Tagliarino's sudden slowing of his vehicle was an act of negligence, was a question of fact to be resolved by t......
  • Joseph v. Schwartz, No. 80-1499
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 18 Mayo 1981
    ...lights by depression of the brake pedal. The cases cited by plaintiff in this regard are inapposite. In Mernick v. Chiodini (1956), 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 139 N.E.2d 784, the evidence showed that defendant made a sudden decrease in speed. In the instant case, although defendant reduced his spee......
  • Chakos v. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, No. 87-1446
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 10 Mayo 1988
    ...198.) ISTHA and Schrimsher each might have wanted to avoid liability by placing the blame on the other. (Mernick v. Chiodini (1956), 12 Ill.App.2d 249, 258, 139 N.E.2d 784.) Nevertheless, ISTHA has not clearly or specifically explained how Schrimsher's testimony would have aided it. His tes......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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