May 26, 2020

Illinois Jury Finds Neither Driver At Fault For Crash That Was The Result Of Ice And Snow Which Killed Three People

On the way home from a funeral, the auto in which three passengers were riding skidded and crossed the center line. An approaching semi swerved to the right in an attempt to avoid the collision but hit the passenger side of the car. The estates of the deceased passengers sued their driver, the semi driver and his employer. Although there was a disagreement as to how slippery was the highway surface, evidence showed both driv- ers were traveling below the posted speed limit. Plaintiff submitted a jury instruction that at least one of the drivers had to be negligent, and therefore liable for the deaths. The trial court refused the instruction, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of all defendants.

The First District affirmed. There was a substantial amount of disputed evidence as to whether either driver was going too fast for conditions or whether the truck driver should have swerved off the road. Therefore, it fell within the province of the jury to determine the negligence, if any, of the defendants. Egan v. McCullough, 2013 IL App (1st) 122475. 

© 2020 Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C


About this Author

Success in litigating insurance coverage issues hinges on understanding both the interpretation of insurance policies and the handling of claims. These key elements pervade every phase of the business from taking the application, through underwriting, and policy issuance. The members of our firm's insurance coverage practice group understand these elements and the important role they play in risk management.