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05/11/89 Christina Chase Bowers, A v. Du Page County Regional

May 11, 1989

MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS

v.

DU PAGE COUNTY REGIONAL BOARD OF SCHOOL TRUSTEES DISTRICT NO. 2-88-0627



Before moving on to address plaintiffs' remaining contentions, we note that the section 2 -- 615 and section 2 -- 619 motions raised issues which are not addressed by plaintiffs on appeal. Since the trial court granted the motions without stating its reasoning, we assume that the motions were granted on the basis of all the issues that were raised. Thus, we find that the trial court granted the section 2 -- 619 motion of the Board of Trustees on the basis that it did not control the property or the supplying of equipment. On appeal, plaintiffs do not contend that the Board of Trustees was in control of the property or was otherwise responsible for supplying equipment. Consequently, we affirm the dismissal of all counts as they relate to the Regional Board of School Trustees of Du Page County. We also note that the section 2 -- 615 motion of the Board of Education alleged that counts II and IV of the first amended complaint had improperly joined causes of action and did not adequately state facts to allege an action for loss of society. Thus, we find that the trial court's order also dismissed counts II and IV against the Board of Education on these grounds. Since plaintiffs do

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

CHRISTINA CHASE BOWERS, a Minor by Connie Bowers, her

539 N.E.2d 246, 183 Ill. App. 3d 367, 131 Ill. Dec. 893 1989.IL.710

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. S. Keith Lewis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. NASH and REINHARD, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE INGLIS

This action was brought by Connie Bowers on behalf of herself and Christina Bowers, a minor, to recover damages from defendants, Du Page County Regional Board of School Trustees District No. 4 (Board of Trustees), Addison Board of Education District No. 4 (Board of Education), and Du Page County Educational Services Region (Educational Services Region), for the alleged negligence and wilful and wanton misconduct of defendants in supervising Christina and in providing equipment. Defendants filed motions to dismiss based on sections 2-615 and 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, pars. 2-615, 2-619). The trial court granted all of the motions of defendants and dismissed the first amended complaint with prejudice.

On appeal, plaintiffs contend that the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing the complaint pursuant to section 2 -- 619 when defendants' motions and supporting briefs were brought pursuant to section 2 -- 615; the complaint asserted a cause of action for negligence in the supplying of equipment for which defendants can be held liable; the complaint stated a cause of action for wilful and wanton conduct; and the trial court erred in granting defendants' motions with prejudice. Additionally, the Educational Services Region contends that it is not a legal entity capable of being sued.

The first amended complaint consists of four counts. Count I of the first amended complaint alleges that Christina was injured when she slipped and fell from a rope ladder she was required to climb (by an employee of defendants) during gym class. The complaint also alleges that defendants owned, maintained, and controlled the rope ladder and the gymnasium in which the fall occurred. The amended complaint further alleges:

"6. On November 19, 1986, the defendants, DU PAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, was negligent in one or more of the following respects:

a. Failed to provide adequate and proper supervision during the physical education class;

b. Failed to provide safe and adequate matting under 'rope ladders';

c. Failed to provide adequate equipment for children to use during the physical education class;

d. Failed to instruct students in the proper manner to perform required activities such as 'rope ladder' climbing;

e. Failed to ascertain whether or not children were able to perform the inherently dangerous task of 'rope ladder' climbing;

f. Failed to insure that other students did not hinder or endanger the plaintiff while she was performing the required task."

Count II of the first amended complaint has been brought by the mother, Connie Bowers, in her own right. Count II incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 9 of count I alleging negligence. Count II further alleges that Connie has become liable under section 15 of "An Act to revise the law in relation to husband and wife" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 1015) for expenses incurred as a result of Christina's injuries and that Connie has suffered among other losses the loss of society of Christina.

Count III of the first amended complaint has been brought on behalf of Christina and alleges, in pertinent part:

"6. On and before November 19, 1986, defendants, DU PAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, knew or should have known that the use of a 'rope ladder' without the proper supervision and equipment would result in the injury to the plaintiff.

7. On November 19, 1986, the defendants, DU PAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, with a conscious indifference and utter disregard for the safety of others was willful and wanton in one or more of the following respects:

a. Knowingly and intentionally or with reckless disregard failed to provided [ sic ] inadequate and improper [ sic ] supervision during the physical education class;

b. Knowingly and intentionally or with reckless disregard provided unsafe and inadequate matting under 'rope ladders';

c. Knowingly and intentionally or with reckless disregard provided inadequate equipment for children to use during ...


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