Articles Posted in Jury Instructions

Frank Barnai was injured while he was working for Summit Fire Protection Co. on a construction project. He sued the general contractor, International Contractors Inc. (ICI), the owner, Wal-Mart and electrical subcontractor, Nuline Technologies.  These defendants then brought a third-party action against Summit Fire Protection Co. for contribution.

Summit did not contribute when ICI, Wal-Mart and Nuline settled with Barnai for $5 million. As part of that settlement, the defendants assigned to Barnai their contribution claims against Summit.

Over Summit’s objection, the presiding Cook County judge granted Barnai’s motion for a good-faith finding even though the judge was not informed about how the settlement agreement allocated the $5 million payment between the defendants.

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A Cook County jury’s not-guilty verdict for Tinley Park Roller Rink, a south suburban roller rink, will stand after the Illinois Appellate Court reversed a trial court’s order of a new trial. The appeals panel stated that there was nothing wrong with the jury instructions allowed by the trial judge that were used by the jury to reach its verdict.

In March 2016, the trial judge ordered a new trial for the plaintiff Marie Largen who filed a lawsuit alleging negligence against the Tinley Park Roller Rink citing a potentially confusing Illinois Civil Jury Pattern Instruction (IPI) 60.01 that quoted the entire Roller Skating Rink Safety Act and may have thrown jurors off during their deliberations.

The Illinois Appellate Court reversed the trial judge’s order for a new trial on plaintiff’s post-trial motion in a unanimous decision. The appeals panel rejected Largen’s counsel’s argument that including the statute’s assumed-risk language asked the jurors to answer a purely legal question when reaching its decision.

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