Summary Judgment for Two Lake County Municipalities

Attorneys: Burke, Thomas P.    Johnson, Nicholas

Related Practices: Municipal


January 2007

Municipal Tort Immunity Act

Tom Burke recently obtained summary judgment for a Lake County municipality in a case seeking damages against the village for an incident that occurred at the village's sports complex. The plaintiff was a rock wall climber who sustained personal injury when the village employee who was assisting him lost her grip on the belaying rope, causing the plaintiff to fall. Defendants argued that the plaintiff was involved in a "hazardous recreational activity," as that term is defined in the Municipal Tort Immunity Act. The court agreed and granted the motion.

Also, Tom Burke recently obtained summary judgment for another Lake County municipality police officer who was sued for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and violation of civil rights. The lawsuit arose out of the arrest of the plaintiff for driving under the influence of alcohol. The plaintiff went to trial on the DUI charge and prevailed. The court granted summary judgment based upon the qualified immunity granted to police officers under the Municipal Tort Immunity Act, based upon the police officer's testimony that he smelled the aroma of alcohol on the plaintiff after he stopped her for speeding, plaintiff's admission that she was speeding, and that she had consumed a single glass of wine earlier that evening, although she denied that she was intoxicated.

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