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.

Barnai v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division

December 8, 2017

FRANK BARNAI, Plaintiff,
v.
WAL-MART STORES, INC., INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTORS, INC., and NULINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Defendants, Frank Barnai, as Assignee of the Contribution Claims of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., International Contractors, Inc., and Nuline Technologies, Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff-Appellee; Summit Fire Protection Company, Third-Party Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court Cook County. No. 17 L 7543 Honorable James N. O'Hara and Jeffrey Lawrence, Judges Presiding.

          JUSTICE DELORT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Cunningham concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          DELORT JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 Plaintiff Frank Barnai sued Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart), International Contractors, Inc. (ICI), and Nuline Technologies, Inc. (Nuline), after he was injured while working at a Wal-Mart store construction site. Wal-Mart, ICI, and Nuline, in turn, filed contribution claims against Barnai's employer, Summit Fire Protection Company (Summit), which they then assigned to Barnai as part of a global settlement agreement. Barnai then dismissed Nuline's contribution claim, and the case proceeded to trial on Wal-Mart's and ICI's contribution claims against Summit. The jury was given a verdict form that asked it to apportion fault only to Summit, Wal-Mart, and ICI. The jury returned a verdict, finding Summit 52% liable for Barnai's injuries, and the circuit court entered judgment on that verdict. Summit appealed. We reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand with instructions.

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 On October 16, 2007, plaintiff Frank Barnai was injured while working for Summit at a Wal-Mart store construction site. Barnai then sued Wal-Mart, the property owner; ICI, the general contractor; and Nuline, the electrical subcontractor. Those defendants answered Barnai's complaint and filed contribution claims against Summit.

         ¶ 4 During the course of the litigation, the court struck Wal-Mart's and Nuline's answers to Barnai's complaint and deemed as admitted Barnai's allegations against those defendants. Barnai eventually settled with Wal-Mart, ICI, and Nuline for $5, 073, 463.71. Summit did not contribute to the settlement.

         ¶ 5 Barnai then filed a motion for good faith finding. The motion recited that Barnai had agreed to settle his claims against Wal-Mart, ICI, and Nuline in exchange for $5, 073, 463.71 and an assignment of those defendants' contribution claims against Summit. The motion did not contain a copy of the settlement agreement, nor indicate how the settlement proceeds were to be allocated among the settling defendants. Despite those omissions, and over Summit's objection, the court entered a good faith finding.

         ¶ 6 The case later proceeded to trial. During the jury instruction conference, Barnai submitted a proposed verdict form labeled "IPI 600.16." The verdict form stated:

"We, the jury, apportion responsibility as follows:
Wal-Mart ___ %
International Contractors ___%
Summit Fire Protection Company ...

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.