Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN F.
THORNTON, Judge, presiding. Reversed and remanded.
MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Plaintiffs brought this action to recover for injuries to themselves and damage to their car alleged to have been sustained on August 3, 1965, in Dolton, Illinois, when defendant "negligently" allowed his car to collide with the rear end of their car. The case was tried before a jury which found in favor of defendant. Plaintiffs filed a post-trial motion seeking, in the alternative, either judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of liability or a new trial. The court entered an order for a new trial. Defendant petitioned this court for leave to appeal from that order, which petition we granted.
We summarize the evidence adduced at the trial:
Archie Hill, defendant, called as an adverse party under Section 60 of the Practice Act. Ill Rev Stats, c 110, § 60.
He was driving a 1961 Ford Galaxie at about 5:00 p.m. on August 3, 1965. He had owned the car for a month, and it was in excellent condition when he bought it. It had new tires and the brakes had been tested several weeks after purchase.
He was driving west on Sibley Boulevard, approaching Chicago Road. It was raining and his windshield wipers were on. He was alone in the car, traveling in "medium" traffic at 15-20 m.p.h. in the southernmost of the two westbound lanes. There was another car on his right, also traveling west but at a slightly faster rate. He glanced at this car and, when he looked back, he became aware of the car in front of him when its taillights went on. That car was between 75 and 90 feet in front of his car at the time. He slammed on his brakes.
His car skidded 60 to 80 feet in a straight line and collided with the car in front which was stopped at the intersection. The impact occurred east of the intersection. He could possibly have been traveling more than 5 m.p.h. at the time of the impact. His car did not move forward after the impact. At the moment of impact the traffic light was yellow.
Johnnie E. Dailey, plaintiff.
He was driving with his wife in his 1961 Buick, traveling west on Sibley Boulevard when the collision occurred. His car was in excellent condition; it was raining; the windshield wipers were on. When he was 50 or 55 feet *fn1 from the intersection with Chicago Road, the traffic light changed from green to "caution." He was going 25-35 m.p.h. He applied his brakes, the light turned red, and he came to a complete stop.
As soon as he stopped he noticed in his rearview mirror that defendant's car was approaching. *fn2 A couple of seconds later the collision occurred. Defendant was alone in his car.
Lottie Mae Dailey, plaintiff
She had no warning of this accident prior to impact, her husband having said ...