February 6, 2007
GRACE BARANIAK, ) Appeal from the
) Circuit Court of
Plaintiff-Appellant, ) Cook County.
v. ) No. 02 L 597
CASSANDRA KURBY, ) Honorable
) Ralph Reyna,
Defendant-Appellee. ) Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE SOUTH delivered the opinion of the court:
Plaintiff, Grace Baraniak, appeals from orders of the circuit court of Cook County, which
entered judgment on a jury verdict in her favor in the amount of $15,000 and denied her posttrial
On May 31, 2000, plaintiff and defendant, Cassandra Kurby, were involved in a motor
vehicle accident when the front of defendant’s vehicle struck the rear of plaintiff’s car.
Subsequently, plaintiff filed a negligence action alleging she sustained permanent injuries and
disability as a result of defendant’s negligence and sought a judgment in excess of $50,000.
At trial, plaintiff testified that on May 31, 2000, she was stopped at a red light in the
intersection of Golf Road and Shermer Road in the village of Morton Grove, Illinois, when the car
she was driving was struck in the rear by a vehicle being driven by defendant. Plaintiff described
the impact as “hard,” which caused her to “flip backwards” and strike the back of her head against