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.

Frederick v. Professional Truck Driver Training School

March 04, 2002

JERRY FREDERICK, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOL, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 98 L 4261 The Honorable David R. Donnersberger, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Cohen

Released for publication March 12, 2002.

JERRY FREDERICK, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOL, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 98 L 4261 The Honorable David R. Donnersberger, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Cohen

PUBLISHED

 Plaintiff Jerry Frederick filed suit against defendant Professional Truck Driver Training School, Inc., seeking recovery for injuries sustained when plaintiff slipped and fell exiting a semi-truck while participating in defendant's driver training program. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and plaintiff appealed. On appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendant where defendant owed a duty to plaintiff either to remove the snow and ice that accumulated on the bottom step of the semi-truck or warn plaintiff of its presence. In support of this argument, plaintiff asserts: (1) the snow and ice on the step was an unnatural accumulation; (2) defendant had a statutory duty to provide a safe vehicle for training; (3) defendant voluntarily assumed a duty to remove the snow and ice from the step and either failed to remove it or removed it negligently; and (4) defendant had a contractual duty to remove snow and ice from the step . For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

On December 2, 1996, plaintiff was participating in his second day of training at defendant's truck driving school. On this particular day, classes were conducted outside in the "yard" where each student was to take a turn climbing into the cab of the truck, placing the truck into gear, driving the truck forward, backing the truck up and then exiting the truck.

Plaintiff climbed into the cab of the truck without incident. Plaintiff proceeded to shift the truck into gear, drive the truck forward and back the truck up two or three times. When he concluded the exercise, plaintiff shifted the truck into park and began to exit the truck. Plaintiff opened the driver's side door and placed both of his feet on the top step while holding the handrails on either side of the door. Plaintiff then stepped onto the bottom step with his right foot and slipped on ice and snow that had accumulated on the step. Plaintiff's left foot was still on the top step when he fell backward, twisting his body to the right and injuring his left knee.

On April 13, 1998, plaintiff filed a one count complaint alleging that defendant carelessly and negligently:

"a. failed to remove packed snow and ice from the steps of one of its training trucks prior to instigating training on said vehicle;

b. permitted an unnatural accumulation of snow and ice to remain on one of its training trucks for a long period of time when the same presented a hazard for all those lawfully entering and exiting said training truck;

b. failed to warn its students of the dangerous and unsafe condition of the steps on the training truck whose steps were in an unsafe condition for entering and exiting;

c. failed to apply salt and other non-slip substances to the unnatural accumulations of snow and ice on the steps of said training truck in a timely fashion; [and]

d. failed to report the dangerous condition of said training truck to those persons who had maintenance responsibilities for said training truck in order that said steps could be made safe for use[.]"

Defendant subsequently filed an answer denying each allegation of negligence made by plaintiff in his complaint and asserting the affirmative defense of contributory negligence.

On January 31, 2000, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that it owed no duty to plaintiff and asserting that the accumulation of ice and snow on the truck's bottom step was "natural." Copies of pertinent portions of plaintiff's deposition were attached to the motion.

In response to defendant's motion for summary judgment, plaintiff alleged that defendant owed a duty to plaintiff because: (1) the accumulation of ice and snow on the truck's bottom step was "unnatural;" (2) defendant entered into a contract with plaintiff agreeing to provide "supervision;" and (3) section 6-410 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/6-410 (West 2000)) and section 1060.110 of the Illinois Administrative Code (92 Adm. ...


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.