from the Circuit Court of McHenry County, No. 14-LA-179; the
Hon. Thomas A. Meyer, Judge, presiding.
M. Breen and Christopher J. Goril, of Breen Goril Law, of
Chicago, for appellant.
N. Rappaport and David S. Osborne, of Lindsay, Rappaport
& Postel, LLC, of Chicago, for appellee.
Nielson, of Peter Francis Geraci Law, LLC, of Chicago, for
JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Jorgensen and Burke concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Plaintiff, Terence Knott, appeals from an order of the
circuit court of McHenry County granting defendant, Woodstock
Farm & Fleet, Inc., 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
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 ...