In Perez v. The Chicago Park District, Perez went to West Lawn Park to celebrate Independence Day. While there, two men illegally set off fireworks, one of which exploded next to her. The explosion caused injuries that required the amputation of her right foot and part of her lower leg. Perez sued the Chicago Park District. After amending her complaint three times, her case was dismissed with prejudice. Perez asked if she could amend her complaint a fourth time, which was denied. Perez then appealed, but the dismissal of her case was upheld by the appellate court.
Since the Chicago Park District is a public entity, Perez tried to base her claims on the Local Governmental and Governmental Employee Tort Immunity Act. Under the Act, local government entities and employees are provided immunity from the operation of government. However, some sections provide exceptions to immunity if the government entity or employees is found to be willful and wanton. Citing Sections 3-106, 3-108, and 3-109 of the Act, Perez argued that the Chicago Park District was willful and wanton and thus liable for her injuries. However, the court held that the facts she provided did not add up to willful and wanton conduct, meaning that she failed to bring a cause of action. Furthermore, Perez’s proposed amendments to her complaint would not have cured this major defect. As a result, her case against the park district was dismissed.
Post Authored by Amanda Riggs and Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink