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A DEFENSE LAW FIRM DEDICATED TO IMPROVING
DEFENSE ARGUMENTS FOR INSUREDS & SELF-INSUREDS

Representative Appeals Won By the Firm

 For reference, the following published appeals have been won over the years — the firm also has won more than twice the number of published appeals in non-published, Supreme Court Rule 23 opinions:

(1) Duran vs. Oak Lawn Community High School, (Rule 23 Order), Docket No.1-11-0633.

Fourteen year old suffered sudden cardiac arrest during school-sponsored baseball practice and sustained irreversible brain damage.

Appellate Court opined that trial Court did not err in giving jury two special interrogatories regarding the sole proximate cause of Plaintiff’s decedent’s death was a pre-existing heart condition and whether the school district used ordinary care after Plaintiff’s decedent collapsed.

Appellate Lawyer:  Michael E. Kujawa

(2) Indiana Insurance Co. vs. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., (23Order), Docket No. 1-11-0830.

Summary judgment granted for Plaintiff finding Philadelphia owed a duty to defend     plaintiffs in an underlying negligence lawsuit.

(3) Park v. Metra, 2011 IL App (1st) 101283, 960 N.E.2d 764 (1st Dist. 2011) (Moving train on railroad tracks is an “open and obvious danger” of which Metra had no duty to warn).

(4) Tagilere v. Western Springs Park District, 408 Ill.App.3d 235, 944 N.E.2d 884 (1st Dist. 2011) (Park District not guilty of willful and wanton conduct under § 3-106, recreational property immunity, of Tort Immunity Act for defective teeter-totter injuring minor – no “utter indifference to” or “conscious disregard for” plaintiff’s safety).

(5)  Konstant Products, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 401 Ill.App.3d 83, 929 N.E.2d 1200 (1st Dist. 2010)  (Verified Complaint pleading driver drove truck without permission was a judicial admission so driver was not a “permitted user” of truck so Liberty Mutual owed no coverage to driver).

(6) McElroy v. Forest Preserve District of Lake County, 384 Ill.App.3d 662, 894 N.E.2d 170 (2nd Dist. 2008) (Forest Preserve protected by § 3-107(b), hiking and riding trail immunity of Tort Immunity Act, where bicyclist rode off drop-off between bridge and trail caused by flooding and under repair).

(7) Vega v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. d/b/a Metra, 371 Ill.App.3d 572, 863 N.E.2d 733 (1st Dist. 2007) (Minor runs in front of Metra train and stuck and no liability for Metra as plaintiff a trespasser under the Railroad Property Trespassing Act, not an “intended and permitted user” of railroad tracks as required for liability under § 3-102(a), local entity only duty to maintain its property reasonably safe for “intended and permitted” users).

(8) McElmeel v. Village of Hoffman Estates, 359 Ill.App.3d 824, 835 N.E.2d 183 (1st Dist. 2005) (Village not liable for wrongful death and brain damage accident where police officer halted traffic to allow tow truck to pull car out of snow bank and drunk driver rear-ended last car in line as Village had absolute immunity under § 4-102, failure to provide adequate police services, of the Tort Immunity Act).

(9) Farmers Automobile Insurance Association v. Universal Underwriters Insurance Co., 348 Ill.App.3d 418, 810 N.E.2d 560 (1st Dist. 2004) (Customer using a Car Dealer Auto in collision and sought collision coverage from Car Dealer’s insurer, but customer not an “insured” for collision coverage so customer’s own collision coverage owed, not Car Dealer’s insurer’s collision coverage).

(10) Trotter v. School District 218, 315 Ill.App.3d 1, 733 N.E.2d 363 (1st Dist. 2000) (School District and teacher and volunteer not liable for failure to save freshman swimmer who drowned in swimming class as § 3-108, supervision immunity, provided absolute immunity for failure to supervise).

(11) Barnhisel v. Village of Oak Park, 311 Ill.App.3d 108, 724 N.E.2d 194 (1st Dist. 1999) (No liability of Village for pedestrian trip and fall on 2¼-inch depression in sidewalk cut-out around tree on sidewalk as the condition was not a defective “pitfall, trap or snare”).

(12) Boub v. Township of Wayne,  183 Ill.2d 520, 702 N.E.2d 535 (1998) (No liability of Township to bicyclist whose bike wheel caught between slots on wooden bridge because plaintiff was a “permitted user,” but not an “intended user,” of the township road and wooden bridge).

(13) Robertson v. Winnebago County Forest Preserve District, 301 Ill.App.3d 520, 703 N.E.2d 606 (2nd Dist. 1998) (Park District not liable for death of patron on Park District sponsored canoe ride on the Kishwaukee River by virtue of immunity of § 3-110, waterway immunity, of the Tort Immunity Act).

(14)  Sisk v. Williamson County, 167 Ill.2d 343, 657 N.E.2d 903 (1995) (County not liable where plaintiff stopped car on bridge to check car for defects and walked off road into creek below because there was no sidewalk on the bridge because plaintiff was a “permitted user,” but not an “intended user,” of the bridge as a pedestrian under § 3-102(a) of the Tort Immunity Act).

(15) Conoway v. Hanover Park Park District, 277 Ill.App.3d 596, 661 N.E.2d 528 (1st Dist. 1996) (Park District not liable for injuries to minor pushed off dam into creek below during horseplay and injured on debris in creek because under § 3-106, recreational property immunity, no willful and wanton conduct in maintaining its property).

(16) Robinson v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 257 Ill.App.3d 772, 629 N.E.2d 209 (3rd Dist. 1994) (Township not liable for car-train collision at railroad crossing where it failed to install a Railroad Advance Warning sign required by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) by virtue of § 3-104, failure to initially provide traffic control devices immunity, of the Tort Immunity Act).

(17) Gapinske v. Town of Condit, 250 Ill.App.3d 1045, 619 N.E.2d 1383 (4th Dist. 1993) (Town not liable to auto driver who drove over flooding river bridge and carried away for not placing “barricades and yellow flashing lights” at bridge because it had absolute immunity under § 3-104, failure to initially install traffic control devices, of the Tort Immunity Act).

(18) Kennell v. Clayton Township, 239 Ill.App.3d 634, 606 N.E.2d 812 (4th Dist. 1992) (Township not liable for two deaths in auto crossing rise in road where railroad tracks removed and road paved over and car going too fast and rolled over because no law prohibited rises/hills on roads and Township Highway Commissioners protected by § 2-201, discretionary immunity, of Tort Immunity Act for decisions on how best to maintain roads).

(19) Sank v. Poole, 231 Ill.App.3d 780, 596 N.E.2d 1198 (4th Dist. 1992) (Town not liable where Police Chief stopped plaintiff’s car with dragging tailpipe and plaintiff crashed police car and took off and Chief chased short distance and gave up chase and plaintiff rolled her car on a curve resulting in her death as police have § 2-202, execution or enforcement of law immunity under Tort Immunity Act, and cannot be liable absent willful and wanton conduct).

(20) Marshall v. City of Centralia, 143 Ill.2d 1, 570 N.E.2d 315 (1991) (Supreme Court case of first impression holding city not liable for fall on grassy parkway between sidewalk and street unless it contains a “pitfall, trap or snare” – plaintiff fell in a utility hole with a missing cover hidden by leaves which was a “pitfall or trap”).

(21)  American Family Insurance Co. v. Village Pontiac GMC, Inc., 223 Ill.App.3d 624, 585 N.E.2d 1115 (2nd Dist. 1992) (Plaintiffs bought car from Village Pontiac and put in garage and claimed car started on fire and burned garage and house and saved two wires from car claiming they caused fire, but did not preserve car and sued dealer, but Appellate Court held no proof car was defective as plaintiffs “spoiled the evidence” so judgment for Village Pontiac GMC).

(22) Snell v. Village of University Park,, 185 Ill.App.3d 973, 542 N.E.2d 49 (1st Dist. 1989) (Plaintiff minor bicyclist fell on grassy parkway allegedly hitting head on broken Village curb and died and obtained $900,000 verdict, reversed on appeal based upon improper “guess, conjecture and speculation” as none of three accident witnesses saw plaintiff hit broken curb).

(23) Trepachko v. Village of Westhaven, 184 Ill.App.3d 241, 540 N.E.2d 342 (1st Dist. 1989) (Village police officer pulled over and stopped speeding motorist and asked motorist to park on parkway and not block street and motorist struck and killed two motorcyclists moving to the parkway and they sued Village, but Appellate Court found immunity under § 2-202, execution or enforcement of law immunity, of Tort Immunity Act unless willful and wanton conduct proven and officer not guilty of willful and wanton conduct).

(24) Nolan v. Elliott, 179 Ill.App.3d 1077, 535 N.E.2d 1053 (1st Dist. 1989) (City ambulance through red light with “lights and siren” and struck by auto with green light and Appellate Court found no negligence under the Authorized Emergency Vehicle Act which required drivers to stop and yield to ambulance).

(25) Kavanaugh v. Midwest Club, Inc., 164 Ill.App.3d 213, 517 N.E.2d 656 (2nd Dist. 1987) (Motorist drove off road into a retention pond and Village police unsuccessfully tried to rescue him, but failed and Appellate Court held Village not liable for failure to rescue as Village owed:  (1) no “special duty” to rescue; and (2) § 4-102, failure to protect adequate police services immunity, of Tort Immunity Act).

(26) Reliance Insurance Co.of Illinois v. Nick J. Giannini, Inc., 158 Ill.App.3d 657, 511 N.E.2d 755 (1st Dist. 1987) (No coverage owed where insured subcontractor (insured by Reliance) sued for contribution because:  (1) bodily injury exclusion for obligation to indemnify another for injuries to employee barred coverage; and (2) failure to procure insurance was not an “occurrence” covered by the policy).

(27) Kane v. Northwest Special Recreation Association, 155 Ill.App.3d 624, 508 N.E.2d 257 (1st Dist. 1987) (No liability of Special Education District for claim of plaintiff, age 18, mentally retarded, who claimed she was raped by a motorcycle gang at Great America on an outing as expert obstetrician and gynecologist testified there was no rape, motorcycle gangs are prohibited at Great America and plaintiff “dreamed up” story).

(28) Long v. Soderquist, 126 Ill.App.3d 1059, 467 N.E.2d 1153 (2nd Dist. 1984) (No liability of County where Deputy responded to first accident on icy road, received call for second accident, told drivers to await his return and another car struck first accident because County was immune under § 4-102, failure to provide adequate police services immunity, of Tort Immunity Act).

(28) Beck v. Rossi Brothers, 125 Ill.App.3d 874, 466 N.E.2d 1124 (1st Dist. 1984) (Landlord not liable where tenant shot by trespasser who came onto premises through an unlocked door because landlord had no duty to protect tenant from the “criminal conduct of third persons”).