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.

Knott v. Woodstock Farm & Fleet, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

February 17, 2016

TERENCE KNOTT, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
WOODSTOCK FARM & FLEET, INC., d/b/a Blain's Farm & Fleet, Defendant-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of McHenry County. No. 14-LA-179 Honorable Thomas A. Meyer, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Jorgensen and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          McLAREN JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Plaintiff, Terence Knott, appeals from an order of the circuit court of McHenry County granting defendant, Woodstock Farm & Fleet, doing business as Blain's Farm & Fleet, summary judgment, based on the doctrine of judicial estoppel. Because the trial court improperly applied the doctrine of judicial estoppel, we reverse and remand.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 On June 11, 2014, plaintiff filed a three-count complaint alleging premises liability, negligence, and spoliation of evidence arising out of an April 7, 2013, accident that occurred at defendant's store.

         ¶ 4 Prior to the commencement of plaintiff's action in the circuit court of McHenry County, plaintiff and his wife (represented by Geraci Law L.L.C. (Geraci)) filed a voluntary petition for chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 8, 2013. See 11 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. (2012). On schedule B, pertaining to personal property, plaintiff stated that he had no "[o]ther contingent and unliquidated claims of any nature" and that he had no "other property of any kind not already listed." Plaintiff listed assets of $196, 250 and liabilities of $306, 301.

         ¶ 5 On August 9, 2013, the bankruptcy trustee, James E. Stevens, issued a "Report of Distribution, " reporting that "there is no property available for distribution from the estate over and above that exempted by law."

         ¶ 6 On October 29, 2013, plaintiff filed amended schedules B and C. On schedule B, regarding "[o]ther contingent and unliquidated claims of any nature, " plaintiff listed "[p]ossible claim versus" and stated that the "[c]urrent value" was "unknown." On schedule C, regarding exemptions for "[o]ther contingent and unliquidated claims of any nature, " plaintiff listed "[p]ossible claim versus" and stated its value at $15, 000, citing section 12-1001(h)(4) of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(h)(4) (West 2012) (providing an exemption for a debtor to receive payment not to exceed $15, 000 on account of personal bodily injury of the debtor)). Plaintiff declared under the penalty of perjury that the schedules were accurate.

         ¶ 7 On November 29, 2013, plaintiff's counsel in the instant action sent a letter to defendant, advising that counsel had been retained to represent plaintiff "in [sic] claim for damages as a result of injuries he sustained after a skid of merchandise was pushed into him on April 7, 2013, in Woodstock, Illinois." Counsel's letter advised defendant of counsel's lien and to preserve any and all evidence relating to "the above individual and occurrence."

         ¶ 8 On January 7, 2014, the bankruptcy court entered an order of discharge of plaintiff's debts.

         ¶ 9 On June 11, 2014, plaintiff filed a three-count complaint against defendant, alleging that, on April 7, 2013, plaintiff was a customer at defendant's store when another customer drove a motorized cart into a display of pizza ovens, knocking them over onto plaintiff, causing an injury to plaintiff's knee. Count I alleged liability on the basis of "Premises Liability, " count II alleged liability on the basis of "Negligence, " and count III alleged liability on the basis of "Spoliation of Evidence." Plaintiff sought damages in excess of $50, 000 for each count.

         ¶ 10 On June 15, 2015, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, contending, in part, that plaintiff should be judicially estopped because he failed to sufficiently report his personal injury claim in his bankruptcy case and, in the alternative, that plaintiff had no standing to pursue this claim because any claim belongs to the bankruptcy estate and must be brought by the trustee.

         ¶ 11 Plaintiff responded that there were genuine issues of material fact precluding summary judgment and that judicial estoppel did not apply because he did not intentionally fail to disclose his personal injury ...


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.