APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT
538 N.E.2d 1263, 182 Ill. App. 3d 1096, 131 Ill. Dec. 707 1989.IL.698
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. Michael J. Colwell, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. NASH and REINHARD, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE INGLIS
Plaintiff, David Woodall, filed an action in the circuit court of Kane County seeking a declaration that the policy of automobile insurance issued by defendant, Economy Fire & Casualty Company (Economy), to Jesus Alanis, Sr. (Alanis Sr.), provided coverage to Geoffrey Booras, who was involved in an automobile accident with Woodall while driving a vehicle owned by Alanis Sr. Economy declined coverage based on the assertion that Booras did not have permission to use the vehicle. After a bench trial, the trial Judge entered judgment in favor of Woodall and against Economy. This appeal followed. We reverse.
This case turns upon the application of an "omnibus clause" contained in a policy of automobile liability insurance, which extends coverage to persons in addition to the named insured. Plaintiff suffered personal injuries when the vehicle in which he was riding was struck by a pickup truck driven by Booras. The pickup truck was owned by Jesus Alanis, Sr., who had given permission to his son, Jesus Alanis, Jr. (Alanis Jr.), to operate the truck and from whom Booras had taken the truck without permission.
Economy issued a policy of automobile liability insurance covering the pickup truck which Booras was driving at the time of the accident involving Woodall. The policy contained an omnibus clause, providing:
"Anyone else is an insured while using with your permission a covered auto you own."
It is undisputed that Booras did not have permission to use the pickup truck at the time of the accident, but it was also undisputed that the insured, Alanis Sr., had given his son, Alanis Jr., permission to use the pickup truck.
Alanis Jr. is 27 years old and had known Booras since seventh grade. The two were friends, had gone to school together, and had periodically seen each other socially over the years. At the time of the accident, Booras lived with his parents. Alanis Jr. had been to the home of Booras' parents, and Booras had been to Alanis Jr.'s parent's home. The two had worked for Chuck McCarthy doing landscaping.
Booras called Alanis Jr. about going to McCarthy's residence to pick up a barbecue grill. They stopped at a McDonald's restaurant on the way to McCarthy's residence. Booras talked to a girl who worked there. As they left McDonald's, Booras told Alanis Jr. that he liked the girl. Alanis Jr. overheard Booras asking the girl what time she got off work.
When they arrived at McCarthy's residence, McCarthy was working on some "bee houses." The two went with McCarthy in McCarthy's pickup truck to get supplies for the "bee houses." Later that afternoon, they decided to have a cookout at McCarthy's. Alanis Jr. and Booras drove to the Jewel in Elgin to pick up meat for the cookout. After they returned from the store, Booras started up the coals. McCarthy's girlfriend was also present, and they had a pork chop for everyone.
Alanis Jr. testified that throughout the afternoon, Booras was eager to return to the McDonald's in Elgin to pick up the girl. He testified that at about "3:00, 3:30 or so" Booras asked Alanis Jr., "Could you take me over to McDonald's? I want to pick the girl up." At that point, Alanis Jr. was fishing at a pond located on the premises and responded "[as] soon as I get done fishing, I will take you there." Booras mentioned going to get the girl at McDonald's two or three times. At one point, Booras even got into the Alanis pickup truck and ...