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01/27/88 Elmer Holtz Et Al., v. Amax Zinc Company

January 27, 1988

ELMER HOLTZ ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS

v.

AMAX ZINC COMPANY, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

519 N.E.2d 54, 165 Ill. App. 3d 578, 116 Ill. Dec. 464 1988.IL.90

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. Joseph F. Cunningham, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE HARRISON delivered the opinion of the court. KARNS and LEWIS, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HARRISON

This is an appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 304 (107 Ill. 2d R. 304) in which plaintiffs, Elmer and Bernice Holtz, seek review of an order entered by the circuit court of St. Clair County granting summary judgment to defendant, Amax Zinc Company (Amax), on counts I, II, III, X, and XI of their fifth amended complaint. For the reasons which

Plaintiffs' claims arise from a collision which took place on September 18, 1982, between an automobile driven by John Snyder and a motor vehicle in which Elmer Holtz was riding as a passenger. At the time of the collision, Snyder was employed by Amax and had allegedly just left a company picnic held at a local YMCA day camp where he had become intoxicated. The collision is said to have left Elmer Holtz permanently disabled and to have deprived Bernice Holtz of Elmer's "society, companionship and conjugal relations." For their respective injuries, plaintiffs each request damages in excess of $15,000.

Plaintiffs' fifth amended complaint contains 17 counts. It names as defendants not only Amax, but also Snyder himself; Dennis Hamann Sign Company and Mid-States Disposal, Inc., which erected signs near the site of the collision, allegedly obstructing drivers' ability to see approaching traffic; St. Clair County Township, which is alleged to have improperly placed a stop sign and to have "allowed the intersection to become peripheraded with signs" which similarly obstructed drivers' view of approaching traffic; and Angler's Club, a tavern which had served alcoholic beverages to Gary Purcell, the driver of the car in which Elmer Holtz was a passenger, allegedly causing Purcell to also become intoxicated. On this appeal, only those counts seeking recovery against Amax are at issue.

Count I, brought on behalf of Elmer, and count X, brought on behalf of Bernice, are each based on the theory of common law negligence. Specifically, they allege that Amax, by and through its agents, committed one or more of the following acts or omissions:

"Negligently and carelessly served alcoholic beverages to its agent, John Snyder, when they knew, or in the exercise of due care should have known, that he must embark thereafter on the public highways, presenting a hazard to others.

Negligently and carelessly provided alcoholic beverages to John Snyder in an amount sufficient to intoxicate him and then permitted him to drive upon the public highways.

Negligently and carelessly failed to prevent intoxicated employees from driving from the Y.M.C.A. day camp.

Negligently and carelessly failed to provide transportation for intoxicated employees when they knew, or should have known, that such was necessary to protect persons, including plaintiff.

Negligently and carelessly continued to give John Snyder intoxicating beverages when they knew, or should have known, that such presented a ...


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