The appeal in this case comes out of a jury’s verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Lanisha Blockmon, who was special administrator of the Estate of Walter Blockmon III. On July 11, 2014, Blockmon was driving on I-80 near the city of Country Club Hills, Ill., when his vehicle was hit from behind by the vehicle driven by the defendant, Jakobi McClellan. Blockmon died from his injuries. After his death, Lanisha Blockmon filed a 5-count fourth amended complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County naming McClellan, Vector Marketing Corp. and Cutco Corp. as defendants.
Vector Marketing sells and distributes cutlery and other kitchen equipment manufactured by Cutco. The lawsuit alleged that in July 2014, McClellan, the defendant, was a sales representative for an agent of Vector and Cutco, and that at the time of the incident, McClellan was traveling between sales calls in his role as a Vector sales representative.
McClellan admitted that at the time of the incident he was using the mapping and GPS functions on his cell phone to check the location of his next sales call and to determine how late he was running, and that he was not looking at the road.