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12/30/87 Sharon Taylor Et Al., v. Commons Plaza

December 30, 1987

SHARON TAYLOR ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS

v.

VILLAGE COMMONS PLAZA, INC., D/B/A CAPRICORN/GEMINI LOUNGE AND ECONOMY LIQUORS AND FOOD MART, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

THIS IS AN ACTION UNDER THE DRAMSHOP ACT (ILL. RE

v.

STAT. 1985, CH. 43, PAR. 135) ARISING OUT OF PERSONAL INJURIES INCURRED BY SHARON TAYLOR ON JULY 18, 1984. THE JURY VERDICT WAS FOR DEFENDANT AND AGAINST PLAINTIFFS. WE AFFIRM.



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

517 N.E.2d 1164, 164 Ill. App. 3d 460, 115 Ill. Dec. 478 1987.IL.1958

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. Patrick J. Dixon, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. LINDBERG, P.J., and UNVERZAGT, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE INGLIS

Sharon Taylor was injured on July 18, 1984, when she was struck in the head by a brick which was thrown by John Washington. As a result of being hit, she sustained a permanent injury to her left eye.

The primary issue at trial was whether John Washington had purchased liquor from Economy Liquors and Food Mart (Economy Liquors), a store which was operated by defendant, Village Commons Plaza, Inc.

Washington testified that in the beginning of the evening of July 17, 1984, an older gentleman was going into Economy Liquors, and Washington asked if he would purchase liquor for Washington. The older gentleman brought a half-pint of gin out to Washington. That was at about 9:30 p.m. At the time Washington received the bottle of gin it was unopened and it took about 35 to 40 minutes to drink. He stated that he was not intoxicated after he drank the bottle of gin.

Washington further stated that he then went into Economy Liquors and purchased a 40-ounce bottle of Old English Malt Liquor. He then went outside and drank that bottle at the side of the building. That took him approximately 20 to 25 minutes to drink. After finishing this bottle of Malt Liquor, he mingled with some friends and then went back into the liquor store and purchased another 40-ounce bottle of Old English Malt Liquor. After finishing this second bottle of Malt Liquor, he felt intoxicated. Washington further stated that when he gets intoxicated he gets violent.

Washington further testified that he had been barred twice from defendant's premises by Alice Midgette. Despite this, however, he would still be able to buy liquor at defendant's premises if Midgette was not in the store. After leaving the liquor store, he went to see his girlfriend, who lives above plaintiffs. It was there that he threw the brick that hit Sharon Taylor.

On cross-examination, Washington stated that he had previously been convicted of burglary and retail theft.

Alice Midgette, the manager of Economy Liquors, testified that nobody other than she and Mark Snoddy was working on July 17, 1984. She testified that part of her duties as manager is to keep out people who have been barred. She stated that Washington had been barred three times. In May 1984, she had Washington arrested. After he was arrested, she would see Washington on the property. Alice Midgette did not see Washington inside the premises on either July 17 or July 18, 1984. Midgette worked from 4 p.m. on the 17th to 1 a.m. on the 18th. She testified that she is also the manager of the lounge and is not always in the liquor store.

Mark Snoddy testified that he believed that he was working on July 17, 1984. He stated that he knew Washington and that he did not sell alcoholic beverages to Washington on July 17, 1984. He further stated that he knew this because Washington had been barred from the premises.

At the close of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant and against plaintiffs. The trial court denied plaintiffs' post-trial ...


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