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Illinois Central Gulf Railroad v. Parks

Illinois Central Gulf Railroad v. Parks



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Published by crlstinaaa

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Published by: crlstinaaa on Aug 29, 2008
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Issue Preclusion: An Issue "Actually Litigated and Determined"Case: Illinois Central Gulf Railroad v. Parks (1979, IN) [CB 688-691]181 Ind. App. 141, 390 N.E.2d 1078Facts:1st Action: The Parks’ car collided with an Illinois Central train. The
 Parks sued the railroad for personal injuries. Bertha sought damages for herinjuries, and Jessie sought damages for loss of Bertha's services and consortium.Bertha recovered $30k, but Illinois won on Jessie's claim.2nd Action: Then Jessie sued separately for personal injuries. Illinois
 moved for summary judgment, on the basis that Jessie's claim was barred by claimpreclusion. Trial court said claim was not barred by claim preclusion, and alsothat Jessie was not precluded on the issue of contributory negligence. Illinoistook an interlocutory appeal.Issue: Whether the 2nd claim is barred by claim preclusion . - No, differentcause of action.Holding: Pl not barred, and allowed to proceed with his action for personalinjuries.Reasoning:Claim preclusion
§ Claim preclusion precludes the relitigation of a cause of action forwhich there has been a final judgment.§ The court says that claim preclusion doesn’t apply because therailroad admits that the new suit is based on a distinct cause of action from thefirst suit.Issue Preclusion
§ Issue preclusion applies if the causes of action are not the samebut some of the issues raised in the second suit were “actually litigated anddetermined” in the first suit.§ The court says that issue preclusion may apply to the matter ofJessie’s contributory negligence.However, the court finds that the jury could have either found
 for the railroad based on a finding of contributory negligence or Jessie’s failureto meet the burden of proof.Since there’s no way of knowing why the jury came to the
 conclusion they did, it’s okay to try the issue over again because the courtthinks it wasn’t really “litigated and determined” with finality.® Court declined to apply preclusion because the opacity ofthe general verdict made it difficult what the first judgment had decided.RULE: Where a judgment may have been based upon either or any of two or moredistinct facts, a party asserting that judgment as an estoppel by verdict or afinding upon the particular fact involved in a subsequent suit must show that thejudgment was rendered based on that fact, or else the question will be open to anew contention.Class Notes• Sued once for loss of consortium, then for his own claims. not the same cause ofaction, not the same legal claim.Claim for personal injuries is not precluded by prior suit for loss of
 consortium• RR says: necessarily if the jury gave Jessie no damages on loss of consortiumclaim in Action #1, it was b/c they found him contributorily negligent. So, thenyou are contributorily negligent on Jessie's personal injuries case, so there is

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