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Illinois Supreme Court Signals Heightened Standard For Discretionary Immunity

The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued an opinion that reaffirmed long-standing precedent holding that claims for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on public property are subject to the “discretionary immunity” defense under Sections 2-109 and 2-201 of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/2-109, 2-201. However, in reversing the lower courts’ award of summary judgment in favor of the defendant-public entity, the Court highlighted the fact-specific application of this defense and emphasized that the burden is on the public entity to present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that it is entitled to immunity. This opinion signals a heightened evidentiary standard required of public entities who seek discretionary immunity, and serves as an admonishment regarding the critical importance of maintaining written policies and documentation regarding the discretionary functions of their employees.

Click here for a more detailed summary of the Court’s decision.

Should you have any questions regarding this ruling and how it affects your organization, or require assistance with a local government legal issue, please contact Michael A. Airdo at [email protected] or 312-506-4480, or Mark J. Kimzey at [email protected] or 312-506-4461.