Little v. Blue Goose Motor Coach Co.
Supreme Court of Illinois
178 N.E. 496 (Ill. 1931)
Dr. Robert Little got into a car accident with a bus owned by Blue Goose Motor Coach Co. (Blue Goose) (defendant). Blue Goose brought a negligence suit against Little for damages to the bus. A justice of the peace found in favor of Blue Goose and awarded damages. Meanwhile, Little filed this negligence suit to recover damages for personal injuries. His executrix (plaintiff) took over the suit after Little’s death. The City Court of East St. Louis found in favor of the executrix. The court of appeals reversed on the ground of estoppel by verdict, or collateral estoppel, because the issue behind each suit was the negligence that caused the accident and the justice of the peace had already ruled on that issue. The executrix appealed, claiming that the subject matter of the two suits was not the same as her suit was for the wrongful death for her own benefit, but the original suit by Blue Goose was a claim for damage to personal property.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)