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Mccann v. City of Waukegan

JUNE 5, 1967.

SARA E. MCCANN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

CITY OF WAUKEGAN, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. JAMES H. COONEY, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE ABRAHAMSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of the 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County. Sara E. McCann, plaintiff, filed suit against the City of Waukegan, defendant, to recover for personal injuries sustained as a result of falling on a city sidewalk in downtown Waukegan. A jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff and judgment was entered thereon. The sole issue in this appeal is whether or not plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law.

Sara E. McCann, on June 28, 1963, drove her automobile to work in downtown Waukegan. She parked her car in a parking lot off an alley which runs in an easterly direction from County Street. She walked westerly down said alley to a sidewalk on the East side of County Street. She turned South and walked to the Southeast corner of County and Washington Streets. On reaching the corner she turned and walked East on the sidewalk on the North side of Washington Street. After she passed the front of a real estate office located on the corner, she stepped, with her right foot, into a hole in the sidewalk and fell, sustaining severe injuries. The hole into which plaintiff stepped was one of several in this section of the sidewalk. It had been there for some three to four years. She had walked this sidewalk every working day for approximately three years and was well aware of the defective condition of the sidewalk. According to plaintiff's testimony, the hole into which she stepped was about a depth equal to the height of her low stacked heel. There were no eyewitnesses to the plaintiff's fall. Her testimony in part is as follows:

"Q. You walked this route five or six times a week for three years prior to the accident, didn't you?

"A. Every day, the five days that I would be working."

"Q. And you had knowledge of these holes being in the sidewalk then for about three years?

"A. Yes, sir."

"Q. Do you recall where you were looking at the time that you fell?

"A. Straight ahead.

"Q. Pardon me?

"A. I think that I was looking straight ahead.

"Q. So before you fell you didn't see or look at the hole which caused your fall, did you?

"A. No, I didn't."

The following Special Interrogatory was ...


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