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Thursday, April 30, 2015

City Owed No Duty to Pedestrian Crossing Mid-Block

A pedestrian was struck by a car and sued the driver, the City of Quincy, and Ameren (electric company), seeking damages for her injuries.  Her claims against the City and Ameren were based on allegations that the streetlights were not functioning which created an unreasonably unsafe condition.  The circuit court dismissed the City and Ameren from the case, and she appealed.  In Peters v. Joyce Riggs, 2015 IL App (4th) 140043, the appellate court affirmed the dismissal of her case against the City and Ameren.  

With respect to her case against the City, the City argued that it was protected by the Tort Immunity Act.  Specifically, the City cited section 3-102 that protects public entities from liability if the individual was not an intended user of the street.  In this case, the City argued that it owed no duty because the pedestrian crossed the street mid-block and outside of the crosswalk.  

Ameren's also argued it owed the plaintiff no duty because she crossed the street outside of the established crosswalk. 

The appellate court found that plaintiff was not an intended pedestrian user of the street at the location of the accident.  As a result, neither the City nor Ameren owed the pedestrian a duty, and their case was dismissed.  In addition, the appellate court also dismissed the counterclaim filed by the driver against Ameren and the City for contribution.  The court rejected the driver's argument that Ameren "breached" its contract with drivers to maintain streetlights in a reasonably safe condition.  It also rejected her argument that the City owed any duty to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition.  

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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