Brief Fact Summary. Lewis McCormick (McCormick) was killed in auto accident with a truck operated by Kopmann (Defendant). McCormick’s wife (Plaintiff) sued Kopmann and Huls (Defendants), the owners of the bar where McCormick had drunk beer before the accident. Two counts in Plaintiff’s complaint were alternative pleadings. Defendants moved for a directed verdict, but the motion was denied. Kopmann appealed.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A complaint may contain inconsistent allegations, even though the proof of one negates any fault on the foundation of the other.
Facts. McCormick was killed when a truck operated by Kopmann collided with his car. Plaintiff sued the operator of the car and the Huls, the owners of the bar where McCormick had beer before the accident. Count one of Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that Kopmann, negligently drove his truck across the center-line and collided with McCormick’s car. Count four, brought in the alternative to count one, under the Illinois Dram Shop Act alleged that the Huls, sold alcoholic beverages to McCormick, which rendered him intoxicated. As a result of the intoxication, he drove his car in such a manner as to cause a collision with Kopmann’s truck. Kopmann moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the contradictions between count one and count four were fatal. The trial court denied his motion and the jury returned a verdict against Kopmann for $15,500 under count one and for the Huls under count four. Kopmann appealed.
Issue. Whether inconsistent allegations can be pleaded simultaneously?