Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., Civil Nos. 09-559-GPM

CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of Illinois
Writing for the CourtMURPHY
Citation737 F.Supp.2d 969
PartiesDavid PAYNE and Sherrie Payne, Plaintiffs, v. SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, INC., Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc., and Teton Transportation, Inc., Defendants/Cross-Claimants. Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff, v. E.T. Simonds Construction Company, Third-Party Defendant.
Decision Date30 August 2010
Docket NumberCivil Nos. 09-559-GPM,Civil Nos. 10-258-GPM
737 F.Supp.2d 969

David PAYNE and Sherrie Payne, Plaintiffs,
v.
SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, INC., Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc., and Teton Transportation, Inc., Defendants/Cross-Claimants.
Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
E.T. Simonds Construction Company, Third-Party Defendant.


Civil Nos. 09-559-GPM, 10-258-GPM.

United States District Court,
S.D. Illinois.


Aug. 30, 2010.

737 F.Supp.2d 970

Thomas F. Crosby, III, Winters, Brewster et al., Marion, IL, Joseph A. Bartholomew, Cook, Ysursa et al., Belleville, IL, for Plaintiffs.

Michael Patrick Murphy, Michael Reda, Springfield, IL, Jerome E. McDonald, Campbell, Black et al., Mt. Vernon, IL, Larry W. Jenkins, Jr., Denenberg Tuffley PLLC, Southfield, MI, for Defendants.

Jason Orleans, Chilton, Yambert, et al., Waukegan, IL, Steven M. Canty, Chilton, Yambert et al., Chicago, IL, for Third-Party Plaintiff.

John G. Enright, Hahn, Enright et al., St. Louis, MO, Third-Party Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MURPHY, District Judge:

I. Introduction

This matter is before the Court on the motion for summary judgment brought by Defendant/Cross-Claim Plaintiff/Cross-

737 F.Supp.2d 971
Claim Defendant Schneider National Carriers, Inc. ("Schneider") (Doc. 68). 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 highway due to road construction. Thereafter, to Payne's south, a semi-truck owned and operated by Defendant/Cross-Claim Plaintiff/Cross-Claim Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc. ("Jeff Foster"), struck a semi-truck owned and operated by Defendant/Cross-Claim Plaintiff/Cross-Claim Defendant Teton Transportation, Inc. ("Teton"), from the rear, injuring Plaintiff Donald Troyer, the driver of the Teton truck. 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.

David Payne asserts a claim for negligence against Schneider, Teton, and Jeff Foster; his wife, Plaintiff Sherrie Payne, asserts a derivative claim for loss of consortium. Donald Troyer asserts a claim for negligence against Jeff Foster; his wife, Plaintiff Michelle Troyer, asserts a claim for loss of consortium. Schneider, Teton, and Jeff Foster each are cross-claiming against one another for contribution, and Schneider and Teton are cross-claiming against Jeff Foster for damage to their trucks and the cargo thereof caused by the accident. Additionally, Jeff Foster has impleaded Third-Party Defendant E.T. Simonds Construction Company ("Simonds"), the firm that was performing the highway construction on Interstate 57 that caused David Payne to stop on the road on the day of the accident giving rise to this case, demanding contribution from Simonds. Schneider now has moved for summary judgment. Mr. and Mrs. Payne have filed a response brief in opposition to Schneider's summary judgment motion, as has Jeff Foster. Having reviewed carefully the submissions of the parties and conducted a hearing on Schneider's summary judgment motion, the Court now rules as follows.

II. Analysis

As an initial matter, the Court notes the well-established standard under which it must evaluate a motion for summary judgment. Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in pertinent part, that "[a] party against whom relief is sought may move, with or without supporting affidavits, for summary judgment on all or part of the claim." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(b). The rule provides further that "[t]he judgment sought should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2). In considering a summary judgment motion, a court must review the entire record and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See NLFC, Inc. v. Devcom Mid-America, Inc., 45 F.3d 231, 234 (7th Cir.1995); Enquip, Inc. v. Smith-McDonald Corp., 655 F.2d 115, 118 (7th Cir.1981). See also Miller v. Herman, 600 F.3d 726, 733 (7th Cir.2010) (citing Reget v. City of La Crosse, 595 F.3d 691, 695 (7th Cir.2010)) ("We construe all facts in the light most favorable to [the non-movant] and draw all reasonable inferences in his favor."). On summary judgment

737 F.Supp.2d 972
a court may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence, because these are tasks for a factfinder. See Morfin v. City of E. Chicago, 349 F.3d 989, 999 (7th Cir.2003); Betaco, Inc. v. Cessna Aircraft Co., 32 F.3d 1126, 1138 (7th Cir.1994). In evaluating a motion for summary judgment, "[t]he court has one task and one task only: to decide, based on the evidence of record, whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a trial." Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir.1994). With the foregoing standard in mind, the Court turns to an evaluation of Schneider's motion for summary judgment.

In Schneider's motion for summary judgment, the carrier argues that its truck was stopped at the time of the accident giving rise to this case and thus, as a matter of law, Schneider's truck was merely a condition, not a cause, of David Payne's injuries. Additionally, Schneider contends that it could not have caused the accident because the force with which Jeff Foster's truck hit Teton's truck was sufficient to propel the latter into Payne's car even if the Schneider truck had not been present at the accident scene at all. In response Mr. and Mrs. Payne point out that, even if the driver of the Schneider truck came to a complete halt without striking David Payne's car shortly before the Jeff Foster truck collided with the Teton truck, causing the Teton truck to push Schneider's truck into Payne's car, this does not exclude possible liability for Schneider under the so-called "sudden stop" doctrine. Under Illinois law, "[g]enerally, a motorist intending to stop or suddenly slow down his vehicle must use due care for his own safety and for the safety of others, such as other vehicles following so closely behind him that they may be imperiled by a sudden stop," and "a sudden slowing up may 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...

To continue reading

Request your trial
4 practice notes
  • State v. Lambert, No. 14-0438
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • September 17, 2015
    ...under the guise that the testifying expert used the hearsay as the basis of his testimony."); Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., 737 F. Supp. 2d 969, 975 (S.D. Ill. 2010) ("Likewise, hearsay is not rendered admissible merely because it is included in Goebelbecker's expert report."); So......
  • State v. Lambert, No. 14–0438.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • September 17, 2015
    ...under the guise that the testifying expert used the hearsay as the basis of his testimony.”); Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., 737 F.Supp.2d 969, 975 (S.D.Ill.2010) (“Likewise, hearsay is not rendered admissible merely because it is included in Goebelbecker's expert report.”); Sommer......
  • Pampered Chef v. Alexanian, No. 10 C 1399
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 14, 2010
    ...by the privilege.' ") (brackets and emphasis in original); Dellwood Farms, Inc. v. Cargill, Inc., 128 F.3d 1122, 1126 (7th Cir.1997);737 F.Supp.2d 969United States v. Plache, 913 F.2d 1375 (9th Cir.1990); Lorenz v. Valley Forge Ins. Co., 815 F.2d 1095, 1099 (7th Cir.1987). Since Ms. Salela ......
  • Payne v. Schneider Nat'l Carriers Inc., CIVIL NO. 09-559-GPM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Southern District of Illinois
    • April 26, 2011
    ...arriving at his, Goebelbecker's, opinion about the sequence of the April 2009 accident. See Payne v. Schneider Nat'l Carriers, Inc., 737 F. Supp. 2d 969, 974 (S.D. Ill. 2010). However, the Court also ruled that Leffler's opinion about the sequence of the accident is not itself admissible in......
4 cases
  • State v. Lambert, No. 14-0438
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • September 17, 2015
    ...under the guise that the testifying expert used the hearsay as the basis of his testimony."); Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., 737 F. Supp. 2d 969, 975 (S.D. Ill. 2010) ("Likewise, hearsay is not rendered admissible merely because it is included in Goebelbecker's expert report."); So......
  • State v. Lambert, No. 14–0438.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • September 17, 2015
    ...under the guise that the testifying expert used the hearsay as the basis of his testimony.”); Payne v. Schneider Nat. Carriers, Inc., 737 F.Supp.2d 969, 975 (S.D.Ill.2010) (“Likewise, hearsay is not rendered admissible merely because it is included in Goebelbecker's expert report.”); Sommer......
  • Pampered Chef v. Alexanian, No. 10 C 1399
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 14, 2010
    ...by the privilege.' ") (brackets and emphasis in original); Dellwood Farms, Inc. v. Cargill, Inc., 128 F.3d 1122, 1126 (7th Cir.1997);737 F.Supp.2d 969United States v. Plache, 913 F.2d 1375 (9th Cir.1990); Lorenz v. Valley Forge Ins. Co., 815 F.2d 1095, 1099 (7th Cir.1987). Since Ms. Salela ......
  • Payne v. Schneider Nat'l Carriers Inc., CIVIL NO. 09-559-GPM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Southern District of Illinois
    • April 26, 2011
    ...arriving at his, Goebelbecker's, opinion about the sequence of the April 2009 accident. See Payne v. Schneider Nat'l Carriers, Inc., 737 F. Supp. 2d 969, 974 (S.D. Ill. 2010). However, the Court also ruled that Leffler's opinion about the sequence of the accident is not itself admissible in......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT