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06/05/95 OLIVIA SCARSE v. CITY CHICAGO

June 5, 1995

OLIVIA SCARSE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, AND COMMONWEALTH EDISON COMPANY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE IAN H. LEVIN, JUDGE PRESIDING.

The Honorable Justice Wolfson delivered the opinion of the court: Campbell, P.j. and Buckley, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson

JUSTICE WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff Olivia Scarse asks us to expand the definition of "intended and permitted use" of city streets to apply to people who are discharged from taxis onto the street at the middle of the block. We decline the invitation.

FACTS

Alexander's Restaurant is located mid-block on Huron Street, between Wells and Franklin Streets, in Chicago. The restaurant was plaintiff's destination on January 20, 1989.

At about 10:30 that night, the taxi carrying the plaintiff stopped outside Alexander's. The restaurant is located on the south side of Huron, a one-way street going west. The street had been excavated down to the gravel level on the north side of the street, producing a difference in height of about three to four inches.

There were cars parked along the curb on both sides of HuronStreet. The taxi double-parked in front of Alexander's in the traffic lane. The plaintiff got out on the passenger side onto the traffic lane. She fell over the edge of the street excavation and was injured.

There was no cross walk or other street marking in the area where the plaintiff was injured. Nor were there any barricades or signs warning of the street construction. She sued the City of Chicago and Commonwealth Edison.

The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants, ruling that the City did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care since she was not an intended and permitted user of the street.

We affirm the trial court's decision.

DECISION

The Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Act) (745 ILCS 10/1-101 to 10/10-101 (West 1992)) defines the scope of a municipality's duty to maintain its property. The issue in this case is whether section 3-102(a) creates a duty of care owed to the plaintiff. That section provides:

"***a local public entity has the duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition for the use in the exercise of ordinary care of people whom the entity intended and permitted to use the property in a manner in which and at ...


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