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Corcoran v. City of Chicago

Illinois Supreme Court
27 N.E.2d 451 (Ill. 1940)


John Corcoran (plaintiff) filed a negligence suit against the City of Chicago (Chicago) (defendant) for personal injuries sustained due to the condition of certain streets in Chicago. The evidence presented at trial was “conflicting.” The trial court found in favor of Corcoran. Chicago filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied. Chicago then appealed and the appellate court reversed and remanded the case for a new trial on the grounds that the trial court verdict was against the weight of the evidence. Corcoran filed a motion seeking to have the remanding part of the appellate court’s order stricken. By doing so, Corcoran was challenging the appellate court’s authority to order a new trial. It was Corcoran’s wish that, if he won on appeal, the Supreme Court of Illinois could simply order that the initial verdict in his favor be reinstated, without going through a new trial. The appellate court granted Corcoran’s motion. Chicago appealed. Corcoran opposed the appeal, arguing that by setting aside the jury’s decision on the evidence and ordering a new trial, the appellate court was effectively taking away Corcoran’s right to a trial by jury guaranteed in the Illinois Constitution.

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