Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dixon v. City of Chicago

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 21, 1981.

FRANKIE MAE DIXON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD C. HOFERT, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MCNAMARA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied November 19, 1981.

Plaintiff, Frankie Mae Dixon, brought this action for personal injuries charging the defendant city of Chicago with negligently failing to maintain the streets and sidewalks on a certain corner in the city. Plaintiff appeals from an order of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the city based on its finding that the city had no duty to maintain the property involved.

On January 30, 1974, plaintiff was walking west on the north side of Chicago Avenue in the city. As she reached the east curb of Pulaski Road a lunging dog caused her to step back onto a defect in that curb. She fell, injuring her knee.

Plaintiff's complaint alleged that she had fallen and injured herself on a corroded "street and sidewalk" which the city had negligently failed to maintain safely. The city answered by denying plaintiff's allegations of negligence but admitting that it "owned, maintained, managed and controlled, and held out to the public as being reasonably safe for pedestrian travel, certain public streets improved with public sidewalks, including the northeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Pulaski Street * * *."

At plaintiff's deposition on February 23, 1979, plaintiff revealed that the defect which caused her injuries was actually on the curb rather than on the sidewalk or street. She described the precise location of the defective curb to be on the east side of Pulaski in the crosswalk area just north of Chicago Avenue.

The city thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the defective curb was under the maintenance jurisdiction of the State of Illinois and that the city had no duty to maintain it. State responsibility for the maintenance of the curb was asserted by Joseph Koster, district safety and claims manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation, first by affidavit and later at an evidentiary hearing.

On appeal plaintiff initially contends that because the city, in its answer to the complaint, admitted that it "owned, maintained, managed and controlled the streets and sidewalks" in question, it is now estopped from denying control over the curb at that location.

• 1-3 When a statement of fact is admitted in the pleadings it becomes a judicial admission which binds the party making it. The other party is thereafter not required to introduce any evidence in support thereof. (State Security Insurance Co. v. Linton (1978), 67 Ill. App.3d 480, 384 N.E.2d 718; Western Life Insurance Co. v. Chapman (1975), 31 Ill. App.3d 368, 334 N.E.2d 806, cert. denied (1976), 424 U.S. 927, 47 L.Ed.2d 337, 96 S.Ct. 1140; Hastings v. Abernathy Taxi Association, Inc. (1973), 16 Ill. App.3d 671, 306 N.E.2d 498.) The city made such an admission of fact as to its ownership of and control over the streets and sidewalks on the northeast corner of Chicago and Pulaski. It did not, however, admit ownership of and control over the curb. Although an admission of fact carries with it an admission of other facts necessarily implied therefrom (Bennett v. Benton State Bank (1928), 249 Ill. App. 539), an admission should not be construed as being broader than the allegations or facts admitted. (Southern Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church v. City of Edwardsville (1975), 33 Ill. App.3d 642, 342 N.E.2d 315; Affiliated Realty & Mortgage Co. v. Jursich (1974), 17 Ill. App.3d 146, 308 N.E.2d 118.) Thus a party is not bound by mere permissible inferences of facts admitted. In the present case, the city's admission of ownership of and control over the streets and sidewalks is not an admission that it owns and controls the curb. The trial court did not err in allowing the city to show that the State, rather than the city, owns and controls the curb in question.

Plaintiff next contends that summary judgment was improper because an issue of material fact, whether or not the State exclusively owns and controls the curbs in question, is yet unresolved.

Section 4-203 of the Illinois Highway Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 121, par. 4-203) provides in pertinent part:

"The Department [of Transportation] may * * * add additional highways to the State highway system by * * * taking over highways from * * * the municipal street system * * *. Whenever any part or portion of any such highway which is situated within the corporate limits of any municipality is hereafter or has heretofore been taken over, the Department shall have exclusive jurisdiction and control over * * * such highway * * * which has been taken over by the Department, and for the maintenance of which the Department is responsible * * *."

The State Department of Transportation publishes a listing of streets within the city of Chicago which are owned and maintained by the State of Illinois. The relevant portion of this listing was attached to the city's motion for summary judgment. It indicates State ownership of and maintenance responsibility over Pulaski Road and curbs from 28 feet north of the center line of Chicago Avenue, in a northerly direction, to 20 feet south of the center line of Augusta Boulevard. Therefore, if the defective curb in question is on Pulaski Road at least 28 feet north of the center line of Chicago Avenue, it is on State property. Other exhibits disclose this to be the fact. A map prepared for pavement marking purposes by the city department of streets and sanitation, filed by the city, showed Chicago Avenue at Pulaski Road to be 56 feet wide from curb to curb. Therefore, city control ends and State control commences at the northern edge of Chicago Avenue. All of Pulaski Road and curbs which extend north of Chicago Avenue are part of the State highway system. Plaintiff's photographs of the defective curb, attached to her response to the city's motion for summary judgment, also disclose that the curb was located on the east side of Pulaski Road in the crosswalk area north of Chicago Avenue. This is clearly State property. Consequently, the trial court was correct in finding that no material question of fact remains as to ownership and control of the defective curb.

Plaintiff also contends that even if the defective curb was on State property, the city, as a matter of law, had a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.