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Case Law Update: “In Concert” Defendants in Automobile Accident

Norman v. Brandt, No. 4-09-0246 (2-14-10) affirmed a case where the Plaintiff alleged that Defendant, who offered to lead cars of friends who were heading to lake to swim, drove his vehicle “in concert” with driver of vehicle from which Plaintiff was thrown to cause his injuries and death. Court properly granted summary judgment for Defendant; Plaintiff’s vehicle was following closely behind Defendant on a narrow country road, careened off road, and rolled over in field. Despite Defendant have exceeded speed limit, he did not commit tort in concert, per Restatement of Torts Section 876, as not attempting to race, no horseplay, and did not drive in way to encourage or substantially assist other driver to driver tortiously. This case will greatly impact Illinois automobile accident law.