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ARTICLE ID 8338

$________ TOTAL Hazardous roadway - Negligent maintenance - Governmental liability - Tort immunity issue - Two people killed when their car strikes pothole and collides into oncoming traffic - City allegedly had knowledge of existence of potholes and failed to take any corrective action.

Cook County, Illinois

The estate of a woman that was killed when her vehicle struck a pothole and then collided into another vehicle (causing the death of the driver of that vehicle and injury to the other occupants) brought suit against the City of Chicago claiming that it had notice of the potholes and failed to take any corrective action. The defendant contended that it was immune from liability.

On January 31, ________ the female decedent was the driver and sole occupant of her vehicle. She was driving south on the Kedzie Avenue bridge near 75th Street. As she crested the bridge, her vehicle hit a pothole.

This caused her vehicle to travel across the center line and collide with oncoming traffic. Both the decedent and the driver of the other vehicle were killed. The other two occupants of the second vehicle were injured. The plaintiff brought suit contending that the City of Chicago was aware of the existence of the potholes and failed to properly maintain the roadway. The family of the other vehicle also brought suit in a separate action. The female decedent was single and had no dependents at the time of her death.

Initially, the City of Chicago defended the matter by asserting that it was immune under Illinois law where it had discretionary immunity.

The trial judge denied this defense and the appellate court declined to decide the issue. The defendant also maintained that it had no prior notice of this particular pothole. Lastly, the defendant contended that the plaintiff’s decedent had to be traveling at an excessive rate of speed when she encountered the pothole and was negligent.

The plaintiff resolved this matter with the defendant for the sum of $________. The companion case regarding the driver of the other vehicle and the injured passengers was resolved for the sum of $________ for a total recovery in this incident of $________.

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