“Dead Mans Act” in Illinois Limits Admissibility of Statements by Deceased Persons

In Bramlett v. Vandersand, 2020 IL App (5th), the mother-in-law asked plaintiff to check on a malfunctioning light switch located outside her house. The plaintiff asked her to turn off the power connected to the light switch from inside the house. The decedent, who was battling advanced cancer, forgot and the plaintiff endured an electrical shock and fell from his ladder. Ultimately, the Court affirmed that barring the “Statement Under Oath” by claiming protections from the Dead-Man’s Act was an invalid argument and could not be made against plaintiff’s negligence action suit. The mother-in-law passed away shortly after the lawsuit was originally filed, leaving the executor as the party defendant.