Kearney Spearheads Efforts To Persuade IL Supreme Court To Retain Public Duty Doctrine

January 7, 2015 / News

.. To Protect Illinois Local Governmental Units

 

The public duty doctrine holds that local governmental entities, including police and firefighters, have a duty to protect the public at large, not any individual citizen. This doctrine has long prevented individuals from recovering damages in tort from local governments for failure to provide adequate services. In Coleman v. East Joliet Fire Protection District, Kim Kearney of CM’s Appellate Practice Group persuaded the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, to affirm summary judgment in favor of a fire protection district and one of its 911 dispatchers in a wrongful death action brought by the estate of woman who died from cardiac arrest while waiting for an ambulance. The Court of Appeals enforced the public duty rule but the Illinois Supreme Court is presently reviewing the case to consider whether the public duty rule should still be the law in Illinois or whether local governments and their employees may be sued for all torts for which a private person would be liable. The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association is heavily backing Coleman.

Kim will appear before the Illinois Supreme Court in March to argue that it should rebuff the efforts of the plaintiffs’ bar and retain the public duty doctrine to protect the scarce assets of Illinois local governing bodies.  She will report further as the appeal progresses. The CM Municipal Defense and Appellate Practice Groups have a long and successful history of guarding municipal leaders against lawsuits and large jury verdicts which could significantly impact the taxpayer.

  • Chicago

    Illinois 60603

    10 South LaSalle Street

    Chicago, Illinois 60603

    T: 312.855.1010 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Dennis D. Fitzpatrick

  • New York

    New York 10005

    28 Liberty Street 39th Floor

    New York, New York 10005

    T: 212.805.3900 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 212.805.3939 Office Managing Partner: Tyler Jay Lory

  • Irvine

    California 92614

    17901 Von Karman Avenue

    Suite 650

    Irvine, California 92614

    T: 949.260.3100 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 949.260.3190 Office Managing Partner: Ian R. Feldman

  • Florham Park

    New Jersey 07932

    100 Campus Drive

    Florham Park, New Jersey 07932

    T: 973.410.4130 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 973.410.4169 Office Managing Partner: Carl M. Perri

  • Michigan City

    Indiana 46360

    200 Commerce Square

    Michigan City, Indiana 46360

    T: 219.262.6106 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partners: Paige M. Neel, Kimbley A. Kearney

  • Appleton

    Wisconsin 54914

    4650 W. Spencer Street

    Appleton, Wisconsin 54914

    T: 920.560.4658 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 920.968.4650 Office Managing Partner: Patrick L. Breen

  • Stamford

    Connecticut 06902

    68 Southfield Avenue

    2 Stamford Landing Suite 100

    Stamford, Connecticut 06902

    T: 203.921.0303 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 212.805.3939 Office Managing Partner: Matthew J. Van Dusen

  • Tampa

    Florida 33609

    4830 West Kennedy Boulevard

    Suite 600

    Tampa, Florida 33609

    T: 813.509.2578 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Anne E. Kevlin

  • Orlando

    Florida 32801

    618 E. South Street

    Suite 500

    Orlando, Florida 32801

    T: 813.509.2578 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Anne E. Kevlin

  • San Francisco

    California 94111

    100 Pine Street

    Suite 1250

    San Francisco, California 94111

    T: 415.745.3598 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 949.260.3190 Office Managing Partner: Ian R. Feldman