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Trzos v. Berman Leasing Co.

AUGUST 11, 1967.

LEON TRZOS, PLAINTIFF,

v.

BERMAN LEASING COMPANY, A DOMESTIC CORPORATION, PACIFIC INTERMOUNTAIN EXPRESS, A FOREIGN CORPORATION, CHICAGO TERMINAL CLEARANCE, AND RICHARD LASZCZEWSKI, DEFENDANTS. JAMES L. EMERICK, D/B/A CHICAGO TERMINAL CLEARANCE AND RICHARD LASZCZEWSKI, THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

BOBBE & COMPANY, A CORPORATION, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ALBERT E. HALLETT, Judge, presiding. Reversed and remanded.

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

This is an appeal from an order dismissing a third-party complaint on motion of the third-party defendant. The plaintiff, Leon Trzos, filed an original complaint against Berman Leasing Company, Pacific Intermountain Express, James L. Emerick, d/b/a Chicago Terminal Clearance, and Richard Laszczewski. The complaint alleged that the plaintiff was on a scaffold painting a bridge or overpass extending across the Congress Street Expressway at 3800 West when he was struck and injured as a direct and proximate result of a tractor-trailer unit, negligently operated and controlled by defendant, Richard Laszczewski, the agent, servant and employee of defendant, Chicago Terminal Clearance, colliding with said scaffold.

The complaint set forth the following specific acts of negligence as the cause of plaintiff's injuries:

(a) Failure to keep a lookout for plaintiff

(b) Failure to control defendant's vehicle

(c) Operation of defendant's vehicle at a dangerous and excessive rate of speed

(d) Operation of defendant's vehicle with faulty and defective brakes

(e) Failure to employ a competent and skilled driver

(f) Failure to allow sufficient clearance between the tractor-trailer and the bridge

(g) Careless operation and maintenance of defendant's tractor-trailer unit

Each of the allegations of the complaint was denied by the defendants, Chicago Terminal Clearance and Richard Laszczewski, excepting an allegation that the plaintiff, Leon Trzos, was lawfully working upon a scaffold attached to or upon a bridge extending over the Congress Street Expressway at or near the 3800 West Block in the City of Chicago, County of Cook, State of Illinois. As to that allegation, the defendants alleged that they did not have sufficient knowledge and therefore neither admitted nor denied said allegation.

The defendants, James L. Emerick, d/b/a Chicago Terminal Clearance, and Richard Laszczewski, filed a third-party complaint at law alleging that the plaintiff in the original complaint claimed to have sustained personal injuries when struck by a tractor-trailer unit under-the control and supervision of third-party plaintiffs. A copy of the original complaint was attached to the third-party complaint. The third-party complaint also alleged that defendants to the original complaint had filed an answer denying any negligence or liability on defendants' part and averred that at all times they were exercising ordinary care for plaintiff's safety. The third-party complaint further alleged that third-party defendant Bobbe & Company was painting the bridge over and upon the eastbound lanes for vehicular traffic of Congress Street Expressway and that plaintiff, in his employment with third-party defendant, was on a scaffold at said location painting under the supervision and direction of the third-party defendant.

It further alleged that the original complaint stated that while plaintiff was lawfully working upon said scaffold attached to or upon said Independence Avenue bridge, the trailer truck of the defendants including third-party plaintiffs allegedly operating eastbound on said Congress Street Expressway at or near the Independence Avenue bridge, collided with and against the scaffold on which plaintiff was working causing plaintiff severe and permanent injuries. The third-party complaint then charged that the third-party defendant through its agents and employees carelessly and negligently did or omitted to do one or more of the following acts or omissions:

a. Constructed and maintained said scaffold in the path or space of eastbound motor traffic on ...


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