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09/29/89 Beverly Crutchfield, Indiv v. Yellow Cab Company Et Al.

September 29, 1989

BEVERLY CRUTCHFIELD, INDI

v.

AND AS SPECIAL ADM'R OF THE ESTATE OF CRYSTAL B. CRUTCHFIELD, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF,

v.

YELLOW CAB COMPANY ET AL., DEFENDANTS (YELLOW CAB COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT; CHICAGO TRANSIT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

Authority, Third-Party Defendant; The City of

Chicago, Third-Party Defendant-Appellee)

545 N.E.2d 961, 189 Ill. App. 3d 1091, 137 Ill. Dec. 200 1989.IL.1563

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Willard J. Lassers, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. MURRAY, P.J., and PINCHAM, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

We consider here consolidated appeals by plaintiff, Beverly Crutchfield, individually and as special administrator of the estate of Crystal Crutchfield, her daughter, and third-party plaintiff, Yellow Cab Company (Yellow Cab). The appeals arise from entry of summary judgments in favor of defendant Chicago Transit Authority and its employee, Olivia Hewitt, and the City of Chicago (City) in an action for negligence.

The relevant facts underlying the appeals are undisputed. On the evening of February 11, 1983, Crystal Crutchfield rode a northbound CTA bus driven by Hewitt to attend a dance at Kenwood Academy, where Crystal was a student. Kenwood Academy is located between 49th Street and Hyde Park Boulevard, 51st Street, on the west side of Lake Park Avenue directly across from a designated bus stop on the east curb of Lake Park Avenue at 5000 south. Hewitt stopped the bus at that designated bus stop to discharge passengers, including Crystal. Crystal stepped off the bus, intending to cross directly west over Lake Park Avenue to Kenwood Academy. As she walked around the left front of the standing bus, she was struck by a northbound Yellow Cab taxi driven by Anthony McKee and, subsequently, a second unidentified vehicle. Crystal died the next day.

At the location of the accident, Lake Park Avenue has two lanes each for northbound and southbound traffic. A grass median divides the northbound and southbound lanes. The east side of Lake Park Avenue in the vicinity of the bus stop is vacant and unimproved except for streetlights, fencing, and a service building for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad tracks which run parallel to Lake Park Avenue. There is no intersecting street at the bus stop, nor is there a pedestrian crosswalk or traffic signal.

Following her daughter's death, plaintiff filed complaints against defendants Yellow Cab, McKee, the CTA, Hewitt, and the City alleging negligence with respect to placement of the bus stop. Specifically, plaintiff alleged the following acts and omissions: placement of the bus stop at the east side of Lake Park Avenue where there was no safe means for bus passengers to get to or move from the bus stop; failure to provide warnings notifying approaching traffic that bus passengers would be crossing Lake Park Avenue to get to or from the bus stop; failure to maintain adequate lighting; failure to provide a crosswalk running east to west across Lake Park Avenue to and from the bus stop; and failure to provide a sidewalk for pedestrians to get to and from the bus stop.

Yellow Cab filed a third-party contribution action against the CTA and the City. The allegations of the third-party complaint mirrored those above. The City answered both complaints denying the material allegations of each.

On May 14, 1987, the City moved for summary judgment against plaintiff and against Yellow Cab. That motion was granted. Yellow Cab appealed from that order in case No. 1--88--0667. Subsequently, the CTA and Hewitt also successfully moved for summary judgment against plaintiff and Yellow Cab. Plaintiff and Yellow Cab appealed separately from that order in case Nos. 1--88--2041 and 1--88--2042, ...


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