The Illinois Supreme Court was asked to determine whether this special interrogatory given to the jury in this lawsuit was in proper form and whether the jury’s answer to the special interrogatory was inconsistent with its general verdict in the plaintiff’s favor.
The Circuit Court of Winnebago County held that the jury’s answer to the special interrogatory was inconsistent with the general verdict and entered judgment in favor of the defendants. The Illinois Appellate Court reversed, 2017 IL App (2d) 161086, finding that the special interrogatory was not in proper form and, therefore, should not have been given to the jury.
In addition, the court determined that because the special interrogatory was ambiguous, the jury’s answer was not necessarily inconsistent with its general verdict. For those reasons, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court.