Second District Illinois Appellate Rules That Specific Objection To Evidence Waives All Other Grounds

Steve Townsend injured himself when he fell through a hole in the floor of a building he was painting. Much of the pretrial proceedings focused on Townsend’s employment status with the defendants and his worker’s compensation issues. The case was tried to a jury, which returned a verdict of more than $1.9 million to Townsend.

On appeal, defendants argued that testimony concerning suspension of Townsend’s worker’s compensation benefits was unduly prejudicial. The appellate court ruled that defendants waived the argument, even though defense counsel did object at trial to testimony about a conversation concerning the suspension of benefits.

However, the objection was made “only on the ground that defendants were not parties to the conversation. Moreover, defense counsel then expressly asked the court for a limiting instruction telling the jury that defendants were not bound by that conversation. Defendants’ specific objection to the admission of evidence waives their current argument … Further, because defense counsel asked for a limiting instruction, he cannot argue that the instruction was inadequate to cure the error.”

Get the whole case, Townsend v. Fassbinder, No. 2-06-0226 (3/30/07), by clicking here.