Armstead v. National Freight, Inc.Annotate this Case
In a March 6, 2015, vehicular collision at a Minooka truck terminal, Armstead, a semi-truck driver with Pennsylvania-based Manfredi Mushroom, was allegedly struck and injured by the semi-truck operated by Roberts, employed by NFI. Armstead filed a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim against Manfredi Mushroom, which led to the execution of a “Compromise and Release Agreement by Stipulation” settling the claim. Armstead then filed a negligence suit against NFI in Illinois. The circuit court determined that the Agreement included a judicial admission that prohibited Armstead from claiming injuries other than a right knee strain. The appellate court affirmed.
The Illinois Supreme Court vacated and remanded for dismissal. The circuit court’s order limiting Armstead’s injury allegations resolved an issue that was ancillary to the negligence claims. Permitting an appeal from that order would promote precisely the type of piecemeal appeals Rule 304(a) was designed to discourage. After the circuit court’s improper Rule 304(a) finding that there was no just reason to delay enforcement or appeal of its order, Armstead dismissed his action in the circuit court, where jurisdiction remained due to the improper Rule 304(a) finding. He failed to refile the action within one year or within the statute of limitations period, so his action remains dismissed.