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Palsir v. Mccorkle

MAY 13, 1966.

MARGARET PALSIR, PLAINTIFF,

v.

WILLARD MCCORKLE AND SHARON D. LEONARD, DEFENDANTS. WILLARD H. MCCORKLE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

SHARON D. LEONARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of DuPage County; the Hon. WILLIAM J. BAUER, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE ABRAHAMSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of DuPage County entered on a jury verdict finding against Plaintiff-Appellant, Willard McCorkle (hereinafter called plaintiff) on his complaint, and against Defendant-Appellee, Sharon D. Leonard (hereinafter called defendant) on her counterclaim.

The controversy arose from an automobile accident that occurred on May 1, 1962, at the intersection of 55th Street and Garfield Avenue in the Village of Hinsdale. The defendant was then an 18-year-old student at Hinsdale High School. She was driving a 1956 Thunderbird automobile in a westerly direction on 55th Street at approximately 6:00 p.m. Three other girls, all classmates of the defendant, were passengers in the car and sat with her on the front seat. The plaintiff was traveling alone in an easterly direction on 55th Street on his way home from his place of employment. Traffic lights were in operation at the intersection at the time of the accident. The plaintiff turned left to proceed north on Garfield Street when he was struck with great force by the Thunderbird at the center of the right side of his vehicle.

The lengthy record contains a great deal of conflict as to the speed of the respective automobiles, the condition of traffic, the use of turn directors, and other factors concerned with the ultimate liability for the accident. The nature of this appeal, however, precludes the necessity of examining these factors in great detail.

The amended complaint of the plaintiff alleged in Count I that the defendant was guilty of negligence, and, in Count II, that she was guilty of wilful and wanton conduct. Defendant's answer denied those allegations and alleged, by way of counterclaim, that the accident was caused by the negligence of the plaintiff. After the closing of the proofs the plaintiff tendered a verdict form as follows:

"In the suit brought by Willard H. McCorkle against Sharon D. Leonard, and a Counterclaim brought by Sharon D. Leonard against Willard McCorkle, the parties are:

Plaintiff: Willard H. McCorkle Defendant: Sharon D. Leonard Counter-Claimant: Sharon D. Leonard Counter-Defendant: Willard H. McCorkle

This form is to be used if you find in favor of the Plaintiff, Willard H. McCorkle, on his Complaint and against the Counter-claimant, Sharon D. Leonard, on her counterclaim.

We, the Jury, find in favor of the plaintiff, Willard H. McCorkle, and against Sharon D. Leonard on Count I and/or Count II of Willard McCorkle's Complaint.

We assess Willard H. McCorkle's damages in the sum of $____.

We further find against Sharon D. Leonard and in favor of Willard McCorkle on Sharon D. Leonard's counterclaim.

____________ Foreman"

The trial court rejected that form as an incorrect statement of the law and used, instead, the following form tendered by the defendant, to-wit:

"We, the Jury, find in favor of Willard McCorkle and against Sharon D. Leonard on ____________________________________________________ ...


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