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12/11/87 Anita Mitsuuchi, v. the City of Chicago Et Al.

December 11, 1987

ANITA MITSUUCHI, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

518 N.E.2d 313, 164 Ill. App. 3d 815, 115 Ill. Dec. 788 1987.IL.1837

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Lester D. Foreman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE PINCHAM delivered the opinion of the court. SULLIVAN, P.J., and MANNING, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE PINCHAM

This case presents the question of whether a Chicago police officer has a cause of action against a brother Chicago police officer for injuries caused by the brother officer's alleged negligence in the course of their employment.

On July 10, 1983, plaintiff, Chicago police officer Anita Mitsuuchi, was assigned in a squad car with defendant, Chicago police officer Juan Arjona, to a Chicago police patrol beat. Officer Arjona was assigned to drive the squad car. While on patrol, a motorist disobeyed a stop sign and forced Arjona to swerve the squad car to avoid a collision. The squad car struck a streetlight pole and Mitsuuchi was seriously injured.

Mitsuuchi filed suit against the City of Chicago and Officer Arjona for the personal injuries she sustained as the result of Arjona's alleged negligence in driving the squad car. Defendants filed a motion to strike and dismiss Mitsuuchi's complaint on the ground that the Illinois Pension Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 108 1/2, pars. 22-306, 22-307), and sections 22-18 through 22-22 of the Chicago Municipal Code (Chicago Municipal Code §§ 22-18 through 22-22 (1983)) precluded such a cause of action. Defendants alleged that the Illinois Pension Code and the Municipal Code provided the sole and exclusive remedy for police officers injured in the line of duty and that Mitsuuchi therefore did not have a cause of action against her co-worker, Officer Arjona.

After a hearing on defendants' motion to strike and dismiss, the trial court dismissed Mitsuuchi's complaint as to both defendants with prejudice. Mitsuuchi appeals.

We initially note that Mitsuuchi and defendants agree that the trial court properly determined that Mitsuuchi's cause of action against the City of Chicago was barred by sections 22 -- 306 and 22 -- 307 of the Illinois Pension Code and by sections 22 -- 18 through 22 -- 22 of the Chicago Municipal Code (1983). Section 22 -- 306 of the Illinois Pension Code grants municipalities the authority to provide for the payment of expenses incurred by police officers injured in the line of duty. This section provides, in pertinent part:

"The corporate authorities of any city . . . may provide by ordinance that in case of an accident resulting in an injury to . . . a policeman . . . in the employ of such city . . . while in the performance of his duties . . . the [appropriate authority] may secure and provide proper medical care and hospital treatment . . .. The city . . . may incur the expense aforesaid and appropriate and pay for the same." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 108 1/2, par. 22-306.

Pursuant to the authority granted the City of Chicago in section 22 -- 306 of the Illinois Pension Code, the City of Chicago enacted sections 22 -- 18 through 22 -- 22 of the Municipal Code. These sections set forth the city's responsibilities to pay the expenses for the care and treatment of injuries sustained by Chicago police officers while in the performance of their duties. Section 22 -- 19 of the Municipal Code provides:

"The committee on finance of the city council is hereby authorized, directed and empowered to provide for payment for proper medical care and hospital treatment for accidental injuries sustained by any policeman . . . while in the performance of his duties . . .." Chicago Municipal Code § 22 -- 19 (1983).

Section 22 -- 307 of the Illinois Pension Code provides that whenever a municipality enacts an ordinance such as that described in section 22 -- 306 of the Illinois Pension Code, other common law or statutory rights to recover damages against the municipality are ...


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