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Sepesy v. Fuller

OPINION FILED APRIL 21, 1978.

CHARLOTTE M. SEPESY, INDIV. AND AS ADM'R OF THE ESTATE OF JOSEPH ANDREW SEPESY, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

HUGH FULLER ET AL., DEFENDANTS. — (ARCHER DANIELS COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. ALBERT G. WEBBER, III, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE BARRY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied May 31, 1978.

This case involved an accident that occurred on December 18, 1972, in which Joseph Andrew Sepesy died as the result of injuries inflicted. The incident took place at the West Plant of the defendant, Archer Daniels Company, in Decatur, Illinois. The evidence suggested that Joseph Andrew Sepesy, the deceased husband of the plaintiff, Charlotte M. Sepesy, was crushed between the front of the truck he had been driving and the rear of a semi-tractor trailer which rolled backward as the driver shifted gears in starting up the slight incline to the grain dump at the West Plant of the defendant, Archer Daniels Company. The trial court directed a verdict in favor of the defendant, Archer Daniels Company, after the presentation of plaintiff's evidence. Defendants Fuller, and Murphy, d/b/a Murphy Trucking Company, were dismissed by plaintiff during the presentation of plaintiff's evidence. Defendant Lane Cooperative Grain Company was dismissed by stipulation between plaintiff and Lane prior to trial. This appeal does not concern any of those defendants.

Plaintiff has raised several issues in her brief which she phrases as follows:

I. Whether the trial court erred in directing a verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff?

A. Whether the plaintiff's decedent was a business invitee?

B. Whether there was a duty on the part of the defendant to properly construct and maintain the ramp and road leading to the ramp?

C. Whether the defendant breached its duty to the plaintiff's decedent?

D. Whether the defendant's negligence was a proximate cause of the decedent's death?

E. Whether the ramp was an inherently dangerous instrumentality?

F. Whether the trial court applied the proper test in directing a verdict in favor of the defendant?

II. Whether the trial court erred in refusing to allow the plaintiff to impeach the testimony of occurrence witnesses?

III. Whether the trial court erred in refusing to allow the plaintiff to introduce testimony regarding the condition of the scene of the occurrence on the day after the accident?

IV. Whether the trial court erred in refusing to allow testimony that it was a common occurrence for drivers to be out of ...


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