Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division
ROSA CASTANEDA, as Independent Administrator of the Estate of Rufino H. Sanchez, Deceased;
WILLIAM INGRAM and M&M TRANSPORT SERVICES, INC., Defendants-Appellees and JESUS SANCHEZ, as Special Administrator of the Estate of Rufino H. Sanchez, Deceased, Plaintiffs, Rosa Castaneda, Plaintiff-Appellant.
Rehearing denied May 17, 2018
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 13-L-5241; the
Hon. James P. McCarthy, Judge, presiding.
J. Caras, of Caras Law Group, of Chicago, for appellant.
P. McCarthy and Patricia M. Kelly, of Gunty & McCarthy,
and Paul V. Esposito and Melinda S. Kollross, of Clausen
Miller P.C., both of Chicago, for appellees.
JUSTICE HALL delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Lampkin and Rochford concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 This is an appeal from a circuit court order denying a
posttrial motion for a new trial on a survival claim
following an unfavorable jury verdict on the estate's
survival action brought against defendants William Ingram and
M&M Transport Services, Inc., pursuant to the Survival
Act (755 ILCS 5/27-6 (West 2012)). The survival claim arose
out of a fatal rear-end collision where a truck driven by
Ingram crashed into the rear end of an SUV driven by
decedent, while the SUV was stopped in traffic.
2 The appeal raises a number of arguments seeking to show
that the circuit court erred in denying the motion for a new
trial on the survival claim. However, for the reasons that
follow, we find that we lack jurisdiction over this appeal
and dismiss it.
4 On May 20, 2013, the decedent's son, Jesus Sanchez, as
special administrator of his father's estate, filed suit
against defendants in the law division of the circuit court
of Cook County, seeking relief under the Wrongful Death Act
(740 ILCS 180/0.01 et seq. (West 2012)) and the
Survival Act (755 ILCS 5/27-6 (West 2012)) (case No. 2013 L
5241). Sanchez had not yet opened a probate estate, and the
law division appointed him special administrator. Defendants
initially denied liability, but on June 16, 2016, they
admitted liability and agreed to try the case on damages
5 In July 2016, a probate estate for the decedent was opened
(case No. 2016 P 4266), and on July 14, 2016, Rosa Castaneda
was appointed independent administrator of the estate to
prosecute the survival claim. Sanchez prosecuted the wrongful
death claim as special administrator.
6 On July 26, 2016, a jury returned a verdict in favor of
estate on the wrongful death action, but returned a verdict
in favor of defendants on the survival claim. The circuit
court law division entered judgments on the jury verdicts.
7 Castaneda died on August 15, 2016, before the filing of any
posttrial motions. On August 24, 2016, Castaneda's
attorney filed a posttrial motion in her name, as independent
administrator, requesting a new trial on the survival claim.
However, the attorney failed to report Castaneda's death
to the circuit court of the law division or to defendants. On
December 6, 2016, the circuit court denied the posttrial
8 On January 5, 2017, Castaneda's attorney filed a notice
of appeal in her name as independent administrator, asking
our court to reverse the circuit court's order of
December 6, 2016. Once again, Castaneda's attorney failed