Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nowak v. Witt

SEPTEMBER 16, 1957.

MARY NOWAK, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

ARNOLD WITT, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake county; the Hon. BERNARD M. DECKER, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

JUSTICE WRIGHT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an appeal to review a judgment of the Circuit Court of Lake county entered on a finding of the jury that defendant was not guilty. The action is by appellant, Mary Nowak, herein referred to as plaintiff, for the recovery of damages for personal injuries. The plaintiff was a passenger in an automobile driven by her husband in a northerly direction on Wilson Road. The car in which plaintiff was riding collided with a car driven by appellee, Arnold Witt, herein referred to as defendant, who was proceeding east on Route 120. The two vehicles collided in the intersection of Wilson Road and Route 120 in Lake county, Illinois. Route 120 is a preferred highway and there is no stop sign for east and west traffic on Route 120 at this point. There is a stop sign at this intersection for traffic proceeding north on Wilson Road. Plaintiff was a passenger with no control over the vehicle being operated by her husband.

Plaintiff's appeal is confined solely to three instructions given at the instance of the defendant. It is contended that the trial court committed reversible error in giving defendant's instruction nos: 11, 16 and 19. Plaintiff assigns no other error.

Plaintiff states the trial court committed the most prejudicial error by giving defendant's instruction no. 11.

Defendant's instruction no. 11 is as follows:

"The Court instructs the Jury that at the time of the happening of the occurrence in question there was in full force and effect a statute of the State of Illinois, which provided at follows:

`The Department may in its discretion and when traffic conditions warrant such action give preference to traffic upon any of the State highways under its jurisdiction, upon which has been constructed a durable hardsurfaced road, over traffic crossing or entering such highway by erecting appropriate stop signs or stop lights.

`The driver of a vehicle shall stop as required by Section 86 of this Act at the entrance to a through highway and shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles which have entered the intersection from said through highway or which are approaching so closely on said through highway as to constitute an immediate hazard, but said driver having so yielded may proceed at such time as a safe interval occurs.' . . .

Section 86 of the Statutes of the State of Illinois above referred to provided in part as follows:

`Every driver of a vehicle . . . approaching a stop sign shall . . . stop . . . at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting highway before entering the intersection. . . .'"

Defendant's instruction no. 19 stated:

"If you find from a preponderance of the evidence, and under the instructions of the Court, that just before the occurrence in question the vehicle in which the plaintiff, Mary Nowak, was riding was proceeding in a northerly direction on Wilson Road and approaching the intersection of said Wilson Road with State Highway 120, then you are instructed that it was the duty of the driver of said vehicle to bring the said motor vehicle to a stop at a point nearest the said State Highway 120 which afforded a view of approaching traffic on said State Highway 120, and if you further find that at that time the Witt vehicle was proceeding in an easterly direction on State Highway 120 and was also at or near the intersection in question, then it was the further duty of the driver of the Nowak vehicle to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle being driven by the defendant, Arnold Witt, if said Witt vehicle was at the time either entering said intersection or approaching so closely thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard."

The only objection of plaintiff to defendant's instruction no. 11 is that it ignores the doctrine that the negligence of the driver can not be imputed to the passenger and it in effect tells the jury that if the driver of the Nowak car violated the statute in question then plaintiff could not recover. This is also one of the objections made to defendant's instruction no. 19. We conclude that this objection is without merit. Plaintiff's given instruction no. 1 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.