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Perkaus v. Chi. Cath. H.s. Athletic League

OPINION FILED JANUARY 14, 1986.

JAMES F. PERKAUS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

CHICAGO CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC LEAGUE ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Brian B. Duff, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff, James F. Perkaus, appeals from the order of the circuit court of Cook County dismissing counts VII and VIII of his third amended complaint against defendants, the Chicago Catholic High School Athletic League, an unincorporated association of Catholic high schools, and its 14 individual members, for failure to state a cause of action. Plaintiff contends that the well-pleaded facts of count VII, which alleges negligence, showed the existence of a duty owed by defendants to plaintiff. *fn1

Plaintiff, a Loyola Academy High School student, was severely injured in a game between two rugby clubs fielded by Loyola and Gordon Technical High School. In addition to suing Loyola and Gordon for their alleged negligence and wilful and wanton conduct, plaintiff sued all 14 Catholic high schools which comprise the Chicago Catholic High School Athletic League, based on the schools' association with the Catholic League. The trial court dismissed only those counts of plaintiff's complaint which sought to hold the high schools liable on account of their association with the Catholic League. Plaintiff's action against Loyola Academy and Gordon Technical for their alleged conduct continues to pend in the trial court.

Plaintiff's original complaint alleged only negligence against the Catholic League. After several defendants filed motions to dismiss, plaintiff filed an amended complaint which also alleged wilful and wanton conduct.

Count VII of the first-amended complaint alleged as follows:

"1. Defendant, CATHOLIC LEAGUE, is an unincorporated association which regulates, coordinates and oversees the sporting activities of its fourteen member schools.

2. The fourteen member schools are subject to the rules and regulations as described in defendant, CATHOLIC LEAGUE's constitution and by-laws in addition to the rules and regulations of the Illinois High School Association.

3. On May 2, 1980, the rugby clubs of LOYOLA and GORDON, both member schools of defendant, CATHOLIC LEAGUE, were engaged in a rugby game in West Park in the Village of Wilmette, Cook County, Illinois.

4. At the time and place aforesaid, defendant, CATHOLIC LEAGUE, was negligent in one or more of the following respects:

a) Allowed its member schools to sponsor rugby clubs even though defendant, CATHOLIC LEAGUE, knew or should have known the contact nature of the sport;

b) Failed to insist upon the provision of protective equipment to the rugby athletes;

c) Allowed its member school GORDON to employ coaches with little or no rugby experience;

d) Allowed its member schools GORDON and LOYOLA to employ assistant coaches who were not certified to teach in the State of Illinois, in violation of ...


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