Fenton v. The City of Chicago

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Expert Witnesses
Case Number: 
2012 IL App (1st) 111596
Decision Date: 
Thursday, January 17, 2013
1st Dist.
Cook Co., 4th Div.
(Court opinion corrected 1/31/13.) Police responded to two domestic disturbance calls; mother and her 22-year-old son, who was drunk and acting belligerent and erratic, were fighting; mother's boyfriend was present in apartment. Evidence presented at trial permitted a finding that boyfriend, who was murdered by his girlfriend's son after police left, was an abused person within the meaning of Domestic Violence Act, that the reporting police officers' conduct in leaving the scene and telling son to wait outside in zero-degree weather for his girlfriend to pick him up in an hour, was willful and wanton, and that their conduct was a proximate cause of victim's death. Under these unique circumstances, court properly permitted Plaintiff's expert on police procedures, who was formerly a 911 call taker and domestic violence trainer, to testify as to probable cause to assist the jury. (FITZGERALD SMITH and PUCINSKI, concurring.)