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Knouse v. Mohamednur

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division

March 27, 2017

ROGER KNOUSE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
REJAT MOHAMEDNUR, SANTORINI FIVE CAB CORP., and GLOBE TAXI ASSOCIATION, INC., Defendants Rejat Mohamednur, Defendant-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 L 13388 Honorable Patrick F. Lustig, Judge Presiding.

          Costello, McMahon, Burke & Murphy, Ltd., (Paul M. McMahon and James P. Costello, of counsel), Plaintiff-Appellant.

          Law Office of Corey C. Splitt, (Corey C. Splitt, of counsel), Defendant-Appellee.

          JUSTICE HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Connors and Justice Simon concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          HARRIS, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Plaintiff, Roger Knouse, appeals the circuit court's order granting defendant Rejat Mohamednur's motion to have the $69, 611.07 judgment against defendant declared satisfied through prior medical payments already received by plaintiff and $100, 000 in uninsured motorist coverage recoverable by plaintiff. On appeal, plaintiff contends that the trial court erred because, in declaring the judgment against defendant satisfied, the court improperly determined that plaintiff had a claim under the uninsured motorist provision of his insurance policy. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

         ¶ 2 JURISDICTION

         ¶ 3 The trial court entered its order declaring the judgment against defendant satisfied on June 1, 2016. Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on June 29, 2016. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rules 301 (eff. Feb. 1, 1994), and 303 (eff. Jan. 1, 2015), governing appeals from final judgments entered below.

         ¶ 4 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 5 The following facts are relevant to this appeal. On December 19, 2010, plaintiff, an Indiana resident, was injured when he attempted to enter a taxi cab on North Water Street in Chicago. Defendant, an Illinois resident, was the driver of the taxi. Plaintiff suffered injuries and incurred $5, 111.07 in medical expenses. On November 28, 2012, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant, Santorini Five Cab Corp. (Santorini), and Globe Taxi Association, Inc. (Globe Taxi). Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed Santorini and Globe Taxi, and the cause proceeded to jury trial against defendant.

         ¶ 6 When the accident occurred in 2010, defendant was covered under a liability insurance policy issued by Ullico Casualty Company (Ullico). Ullico became insolvent and was liquidated on May 30, 2013. Due to Ullico's insolvency, the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund (Guaranty Fund) assumed the defense of plaintiff's complaint. On November 8, 2013, defendant filed his appearance and answer to plaintiff's complaint. As part of discovery, defendant served plaintiff with special interrogatories regarding insurance coverage. In his answer, plaintiff stated that he had an automobile insurance policy "which did not cover an accident of this nature."

         ¶ 7 At the time of the occurrence, plaintiff was covered under an automobile liability policy issued by State Farm Insurance (State Farm). The State Farm policy subsequently made $4, 247.73 in payments toward plaintiff's claimed medical expenses. The policy also provided uninsured motor vehicle coverage of up to $100, 000 per person for each occurrence. The policy provided that:

"Uninsured Motor Vehicle means a land motor vehicle: ...

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