Little v. Blue Goose Motor Coach Co.

178 N.E. 496 (1931)


Little (P) was in an accident with Blue Goose (D). D sued P in a justice of the peace court and recovered $139.35. P appealed to the county court, and the case was dismissed for lack of prosecution. During the pendency of the justice of the peace action, P sued D in the city court for personal injuries. After the jury had retired to consider its verdict, but before its verdict was returned, P died. His death was suggested on the record and the jury was discharged. P’s estate continued the suit. In that suit, P claimed that the accident had been caused by D's negligence and that P's death had been caused by the wanton willful negligence of D. D claimed the justice of the peace action as a defense for estoppel by verdict. P got the judgment for $5000, and D appealed. The appeals court reversed in that the justice of the peace action had determined that the accident was due to the negligence of P.