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Perkins v. Chicago Transit Authority

JUNE 21, 1965.

EDWARD PERKINS, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JACOB L. BRAUDE, Judge, presiding. Reversed and remanded.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE BURMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

In this personal injury action, the plaintiffs appeal from a judgment which was entered for the defendant on a directed verdict at the conclusion of the plaintiffs' evidence.

The record shows that between 8 and 8:30 on the morning of December 23, 1959, the plaintiffs were on their way to work in a car driven by the plaintiff Perkins. Plaintiff Deacy was seated next to Perkins in the front seat and the plaintiff Callahan was in the rear seat. The plaintiffs, who had been proceeding west along 26th Street in Chicago, had stopped at California Avenue. At this intersection, 26th Street was 40 feet wide with two east-bound and two westbound lanes. The intersection was controlled by traffic lights. The car in which the plaintiffs were riding had stopped for a red light in the curb lane on the north side of 26th Street; there were no cars ahead of them; in the lane immediately to the plaintiffs' left there was a truck which obscured plaintiffs' view to the left. When the traffic light controlling the plaintiffs' movements turned directly from red to green, the truck pulled out but stopped suddenly. The plaintiffs' car proceeded ahead at about five or six miles per hour. As their car passed the truck, the driver, Perkins, applied his brakes and the car skidded into the side of the defendant's bus which was proceeding north on California Avenue. Plaintiff Callahan testified that he heard no horn prior to the collision; no other witness testified on this subject. The car struck the bus just behind the front wheel of the bus, a distance which was placed at between five and eight feet behind the front bumper of the bus. The traffic light controlling the movement of the bus was set to show green for 32 seconds (during which time the traffic light controlling the plaintiffs' movements showed red); the light facing the bus was then set to show green and amber for three seconds (during which time the plaintiffs' light remained red); finally the light facing the bus was set to turn red (at which time the plaintiffs' light turned directly from red to green).

At the trial the plaintiff Deacy was asked about a conversation he had with the defendant's driver after the occurrence. The testimony was as follows:

Q. Now, Mr. Deacy, after the impact that you got to the car —

A. I got out of the car.

Q. Did you observe the driver of the bus?

A. I did because — I took his number.

Q. And where was he when you first saw him?

A. He was behind the wheel.

Q. Did he look unusual to you in any way?

A. He was a little excited.

Q. Did you have any conversation ...


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