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Slatten v. City of Chicago

JUNE 12, 1973.

RADIE SLATTEN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ALBERT E. HALLETT and the Hon. HERBERT J. PASCHEN, Judges, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DOWNING DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied July 25, 1973.

On September 17, 1964, Radie Slatten, plaintiff, a 68-year-old woman, allegedly tripped and fell on a public sidewalk near her home in the City of Chicago. Suit was instituted to recover damages from defendant for resulting personal injuries. A jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $44,000. The court entered judgment on the verdict.

Defendant, in appealing from the judgment and denial of a motion for new trial, asserts it was denied a fair trial by the court's refusal to order plaintiff to appear for a discovery deposition before trial, and alleged prejudicial trial misconduct of plaintiff's attorney.

To consider defendant's principal claim of error, a detailed review of the evidence is not necessary. Defendant urges it was effectively prevented from taking plaintiff's discovery deposition before trial as the result of the court orders and action of plaintiff. Plaintiff contends the court did not abuse its discretion and defendant was not prejudiced by the trial court refusing to postpone the trial. This issue depends entirely upon an understanding of the pre-trial discovery record. The following is a chronological review of the essential record:

Sept. 17, 1964 Accident.

Nov. 15, 1964 Plaintiff entered Cook County Hospital.

Jan. 19, 1965 Plaintiff served a Notice of Claim for Personal Injuries on defendant listing both Cook County Hospital and

Dr. Patejdl as attending physicians in addition to their respective addresses.

Jan. 22, 1965 Plaintiff filed her complaint.

Feb. 10, 1965 Defendant filed its answer.

Defendant filed written interrogatories to plaintiff and notice to plaintiff of such filing.

June 2, 1965 Plaintiff's attorney took her evidence deposition in the presence ...


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