Fifth District Illinois Appellate Rules Waiver For Lack Of Post-Trial Motion

Scott Jackson was injured when his car was rear-ended by David Seib. A jury trial resulted in a verdict for Seib. Apparently the jury did not believe that this accident caused Jackson to suffer the injuries he claimed. Jackson appealed, but the Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the defense verdict. The case is chock full of evidentiary and appellate questions, but we’ll focus on the lesson arising from Trooper Connor’s testimony.

The defense had Trooper Connor testify about the accident from his accident report. But on cross-examination, he admitted he had no independent recollection of the incident. The appellate court recognized the error in allowing the testimony.

However, Seib claimed — and the appellate court agreed — that plaintiff waived the argument for appeal by his failure to raise it in his post-trial motion. The appellate court reiterated the rule: “In order to properly preserve an issue for an appeal, a party must both make a contemporaneous objection and raise the issue in a posttrial motion … In addition, Supreme Court Rule 366(b)(2)(iii) provides, ‘A party may not urge as error on review of the ruling on the party’s post[ ]trial motion any point, ground, or relief not specified in the motion.’ 155 Ill.2d R. 366(b)(2)(iii). The failure to raise an issue in a posttrial motion constitutes a waiver of that issue on appeal.”

Read the whole case, Jackson v. Seib, No. 5-05-0545 (4/10/07), by clicking here.