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Skolnick v. Martin

JULY 22, 1968.

SHERMAN H. SKOLNICK, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

CHARLES T. MARTIN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. BEN SCHWARTZ, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE ADESKO DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Appellant, as plaintiff in a certain other cause of action in the Circuit Court, No. 58 C 7219, against Arthur Lilly and Charles R. Perrigo, was noticed to appear in the office of Charles T. Martin, attorney for said defendants, on January 7, 1960, at 2:00 p.m., for a discovery deposition on oral interrogatories. He was represented by an attorney who was present together with the appellant's father and appellant's court reporter.

On January 6, 1965, appellant filed a suit against the appellees to recover damages for alleged injuries he claims to have suffered when on said January 7, 1960, he sat in attorney Martin's office until 6:20 p.m. In his complaint, appellant alleged that he was forced to sit in the attorney's office "in a low back, narrow chair with no arm rests of an adequate height for the plaintiff (appellant), a paraplegic with a scoliosis spine, disregarding and ignoring the plaintiff's protestations." Said complaint further alleged that said appellees violated appellant's civil rights and liberties secured to him by the Constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Illinois, particularly section 1, 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; section 2, Article II of the Illinois Constitution; sections 1981, 1983, 1985(2), (3), 1988 of Title 42, US Code; section 241 of Title 18, US Code; and the pertinent provisions of section 139, chapter 38, Ill Rev Stats 1959.

Appellant further alleged that as a result he felt faint, suffered constant pain in the back and collapsed, becoming delirious, and thereafter was forced to stay in bed for a period of two weeks, became further paralyzed and crippled incurring expenses for doctor's fees and medicines. He sought damages in the sum of $200,000 and exemplary damages for an additional $200,000.

On January 26, 1965, appellees Martin, Lilly and Perrigo, moved to dismiss on the ground that this action was not commenced within two years pursuant to section 14 of the Limitations Act (Ill Rev Stats 1963, c 83, § 15), which provides:

"Actions for damages for an injury to persons, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation, shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued."

This motion to dismiss further provided that the appellant alleged the same cause of action in a suit filed on January 4, 1962, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which was dismissed for failure to state a cause of action. This dismissal was affirmed in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 317 F.2d 855 (7th Cir, June 6, 1963). Certiorari was denied, 375 U.S. 908; rehearing denied 375 U.S. 960 (1963).

Appellees further claimed in said motion that the appellant also alleged the same cause of action in another suit filed by him also on January 4, 1962, in the Superior Court of Cook County, No. 62 S 204. The Superior Court dismissed said suit on March 28, 1962, and the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal on November 24, 1964. 32 Ill.2d 55, 203 N.E.2d 428, US cert denied 381 U.S. 926 (1965).

On February 17, 1965, appellees, Arthur Lilly and Charles R. Perrigo amended their motion to dismiss, claiming that this suit is also barred by a prior judgment pursuant to section 48 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill Rev Stats 1963, c 110, § 48 (1) (d)):

"(d) That the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment."

On April 23, 1965, the trial court having considered the pleadings, briefs and arguments of the appellant and counsel for the appellees, sustained the motion to dismiss and entered the following order:

"This cause coming on to be heard on defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Ch 83 § 15 and the court being fully advised in the premises:

"It is hereby ordered that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice, and plaintiff asking leave to file an amended complaint;

"It is hereby ordered that leave is denied and it is further ordered that the complaint be dismissed at plaintiff's cost, that the plaintiff take ...


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