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08/11/89 James Mcgoughy, v. Chicago Housing Authority

August 11, 1989

JAMES MCGOUGHY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SIXTH DIVISION

543 N.E.2d 236, 187 Ill. App. 3d 412, 135 Ill. Dec. 1 1989.IL.1238

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas E. Hoffman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. EGAN, P.J., and LaPORTA, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA

Plaintiff, James McGoughy, appeals from a trial court order dismissing count II of his second amended complaint against defendant, Chicago Housing Authority due to an inadequate description of the accident included in the notice required by the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 85, pars. 8-101 through 8-103). Count I remains pending in the trial court.

On April 20, 1983, plaintiff fell and injured himself while running down a stairway in a Chicago apartment building owned by defendant. He left a friend's apartment and was running, being attacked by unknown assailants at the time he fell.

An April 20, 1983, Michael Reese Hospital emergency room report states that plaintiff was hit over the head with a baseball bat by four individuals, punched in the eye, and that he fell down a flight of stairs, injuring his knee and leg.

On January 16, 1984, plaintiff timely served defendant with statutory notice of his intention to commence a civil action for damages. The notice included plaintiff's name and address; the date, time and location of the accident; the treating hospitals and physicians; and a description of the accident:

"Claimant was going down the south staircase from the 13th floor, slipped and fell down. Stairwell unlighted and wet."

On August 16, 1984, plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that defendant permitted the stairway to remain in a dangerous, unsafe, wet, unlighted and slippery condition, causing him to fall down the stairs.

Subsequently, both sides engaged in discovery. On December 24, 1984, defendant served plaintiff with interrogatories asking for details about the assault, including any advance notice that he might be in danger, precautions to avoid danger, description of assailants and "the number of persons and the objects carried by them as reported to hospital (Michael Reese)," and "how many floors were you chased by these assailants before you were actually attacked."

On January 25, 1985, defendant answered the complaint, denying that as a cause of any alleged negligence of defendant, plaintiff "sustained any injuries . . ., but states that any injuries sustained by plaintiff resulted from independent intervening criminal activity unrelated to any activity of the defendant."

On February 11, 1985, defendant filed a motion to compel answers to the interrogatories relating to information plaintiff possessed about the criminal attack, arguing that because "of the generality of the claim or charge, [defendant] is unable ...


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