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Dorf v. Egyptian Freightways

DECEMBER 20, 1962.

CHARLES R. DORF, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

EGYPTIAN FREIGHTWAYS, INC., AND JOHN WILLIAM BENSHOFF, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. QUINTEN SPIVEY, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

SCHEINEMAN, P.J.

Rehearing denied February 26, 1963.

This suit grows out of a collision which occurred at the junction of Rts. 13 and 43, about two miles east of Marissa. Defendants' truck was traveling eastward from St. Louis to Herrin, on Rt. 13. At the junction there is a road leading straight ahead as a spur of Rt. 43, while Rt. 13 turns off to the right in a wide sweeping curve, somewhat obscured by shrubbery.

The evidence is highly conflicting, and presented questions of fact for the jury which found for the defense. Plaintiff's post trial motion was denied and judgment was entered on the verdict. On this appeal, the principal assignments of error refer to rulings on instructions.

Plaintiff's instruction No. 1 was IPI 2.06 referring to the right of an attorney to interview a witness. It is an attempt to offset the ancient trick in which an attorney questions a witness as to his interview with opposing counsel, often stated in a way to imply to the witness and jurors that this is an impropriety. In this case the testimony was that plaintiff's attorney had taken a statement from the opposite party and had represented that he was an attorney for the defendant's employer. The instruction was refused. We believe the refusal of this cautionary instruction was within the usual discretion of the trial judge in such matters. Bennett v. McAllister Co., 241 Ill. App. 502, 514.

Plaintiff's No. 2 was given as modified, but plaintiff objects that it should not have been modified. The instruction as tendered was based on IPI 20.01 as follows:

"The plaintiff, Charles Dorf, claims that he was injured and sustained damage while exercising ordinary care, and that the defendants, John William Benshoff and Egyptian Freights, Inc., through John William Benshoff, its agent, were negligent in one or more of the following respects:

(a) Drove the tractor trailer at a rate of speed that was not reasonably safe under the circumstances.

(b) Failed to sound or give any signal or warning by hand or mechanical device of the turn of the tractor trailer.

(c) Failed to keep a lookout ahead and laterally to discover plaintiff's automobile.

(d) Failed to have the tractor trailer under control so that it could be readily stopped upon the appearance of danger.

(e) Turned and swerved the tractor trailer from a direct course on the highway when such movement could not be made with reasonable safety.

(f) Failed to drive to the right side of the roadway and operated the tractor trailer to the left of the center line of the roadway.

(g) Operated the tractor trailer so that there was less than one-half (1/2) of the roadway available for the ...


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