Payne v. Schneider Nat'l Carriers Inc., CIVIL NO. 09-559-GPM

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Southern District of Illinois
Writing for the CourtMURPHY.
PartiesDAVID PAYNE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, INC., et al., Defendants/Cross-Claim Plaintiffs/ Cross-Claim Defendants. JEFF FOSTER TRUCKING, INC., Third-Party Plaintiff, v. DALE STUMBO, Third-Party Defendant.
Decision Date26 April 2011
Docket NumberConsolidated with: CIVIL NO. 10-258-GPM,CIVIL NO. 09-559-GPM

DAVID PAYNE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, INC., et al.,
Defendants/Cross-Claim Plaintiffs/ Cross-Claim Defendants.

JEFF FOSTER TRUCKING, INC., Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
DALE STUMBO, Third-Party Defendant.

CIVIL NO. 09-559-GPM
Consolidated with: CIVIL NO. 10-258-GPM

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

DATED: April 26, 2011


MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MURPHY, District Judge:

This matter is before the Court on a motion in limine brought by Cross-Claim Plaintiff Schneider International Carriers, Inc. ("Schneider") (Doc. 179). This case arises out of a major traffic accident that occurred on April 21, 2009, on Interstate 57 in Franklin County, Illinois, near the town of Benton. According to Illinois State Policeman Robert Ventura, Jr., a certified accident reconstructionist who performed an investigation of the accident giving rise to this case, the accident was a so-called "chain reaction" collision that happened approximately as follows. Plaintiff David Payne was traveling north on Interstate 57 when he was obliged to stop on the

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highway due to road construction. According to Ventura, to Payne's south a northbound semi-truck owned and operated by Defendant/Cross-Claim Plaintiff/Cross-Claim Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc. ("Jeff Foster"), then struck a semi-truck owned and operated by Teton Transportation, Inc. ("Teton"), from the rear. Ventura posits that the impact of the collision between the Jeff Foster truck and the Teton truck propelled the latter truck into the rear of a semi-truck owned and operated by Schneider, with the result that the Schneider truck struck David Payne's vehicle from behind. Currently Schneider is pursuing a claim against Jeff Foster for the damage to Schneider's truck caused by the April 2009 accident.

The driver of Jeff Foster's truck at the time of the April 2009 accident, Lawrence Rich, died in a post-collision fire. A report on Rich's death was prepared by Martin Leffler, the coroner of Franklin County. Leffler's report suggests, based on information furnished to Leffler by police at the accident scene, that the sequence of collisions in the accident was different from the sequence of collisions set out in Ventura's report on the...

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