Harden v. City of Chicago – City not liable for pedestrian fall that was outside of marked crosswalk despite her claim that lines were not visible due to snow

Harden v. City of Chicago, 2013 IL App (1st) 120846 (McBride)

Facts:  Plaintiff was injured while crossing the street when she stepped on a metal plate that had been placed over the road due to construction on Wacker Drive and Adams Street.  Plaintiff admitted in her deposition that she stepped off the curb in the area in-between the stop line and the crosswalk and the photo of the metal plate showed that the area of her fall was three feet outside of the marked lines of the crosswalk.  Defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis the plaintiff was not an intended and permitted user of the road at that location and pursuant to section 3-102 of the Tort Immunity Act the defendant owed no duty to plaintiff.  Plaintiff argued that due to the lack of visibility of the lines and the forgeability that pedestrians would cross in that location, the definition of a crosswalk should be broadened to include the area of the fall as an unmarked crosswalk.  The trial court granted the defendant motion for summary judgment and plaintiff appeals.

Holding:  Summary judgment was proper because plaintiff fell outside of the marked crosswalk lines and was not an intended and permitted user of the roadway despite her claim that the crosswalk lines were not visible due to snow.

Filed in Trial Book Under:  Section 3-102 of the Tort Immunity Act, Intended and Permitted User, Crosswalk

Commentary:  It is the intent of the municipality that dictates whether a pedestrian is an intended or permitted user or not.  Here, there was a marked crosswalk so the intent of the municipality was clear and any fall outside of the marked lines was not actionable.  The case has a great discussion of most of the major cases on the issue.

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Filed under Tort Immunity

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