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Student Can Sue Youth Center For Crippling Injuries

STUDENT CAN SUE YOUTH CENTER FOR CRIPPLING INJURIES

In a decision that has a potentially far-reaching impact on governmental liability for injuries, the Illinois Supreme Court recently allowed a suit brought by an injured student against a youth center and his school district to proceed to trial.

The suit arose out of injuries that the student suffered at the youth center during a school-sponsored extracurricular event. The student fell while trying to do a front flip on a trampoline during a "freelance" part of the class. The gymnastics class was run by an unqualified instructor who did not properly monitor the children who were using the trampoline. The fall left the student a quadriplegic.

The defendants argued that they could not be sued by the student because state law made them immune from liability for discretionary decisions, and the way that the defendants ran the gymnastics program was a discretionary decision. The court rejected this argument, finding that the case was subject to a more specific provision of the law governing liability for hazardous recreational activities.

The court then found that the hazardous recreational activities portion of the law permitted a defendant that would otherwise be immune to be sued if it was guilty of "willful or wanton" conduct. Since the evidence showed that the defendants might have acted willfully and wantonly, the supreme court allowed the student's lawsuit to proceed to a jury trial.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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