Schwartz v. Swan
Illinois Appellate Court
211 N.E.2d 122 (Ill. App. 1965)
Bray (defendant) and Swan (defendant) allegedly caused an automobile accident, which injured Dorothy Schwartz (Dorothy) (plaintiff). Ten days later, Dorothy was involved in another automobile accident, which was allegedly caused by Polivick (defendant). Dorothy then sued Bray, Swan, and Polivick jointly. Bray, Swan, and Polivick filed motions to sever the single action into two, one for the first accident and one for the second. They argued that the jury could be confused by the complexity of the case as not all defendants are culpable for the harm alleged. Dorothy argued that there was no way to distinguish between which accident caused or contributed to her injuries. The trial judge severed the case without providing a rationale. Dorothy appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Goldenhersh, J.)