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Monday, April 20, 2020

Court Sends Case Back for Further Proceedings on Immunity Claim by Park District

Public bodies should take note of a recent appellate court decision as it applies to negligence claims against public bodies and immunity under the Tort Immunity Act. Torres v. Peoria Park District, 2020 IL App (3d) 190248. 

In Torres, the plaintiffs filed a suit against the Peoria Park District alleging that the District negligently caused their injuries when a pole affixed to the District’s campsite hammock fell and injured the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also claimed that the District’s failure to warn plaintiffs about the dangers of erecting hammocks on campsite poles was willful and wanton conduct. The trial court dismissed the case, but the appellate court reversed, finding that plaintiffs had alleged enough facts to survive a motion to dismiss. The court noted that since the District allegedly knew its poles were 42 years old and District employees allegedly told plaintiffs that the poles could be used for camping purposes without informing them about the District’s policy prohibiting hanging hammocks, the court could not determine at this point in the case whether the District's actions were willful and wanton, meaning that the District would not be immune from liability under the Tort Immunity Act. The case was sent back to the trial court for further proceedings on that issue.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink


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