Choate v. Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company

Illinois Supreme Court
Civil Court
Railroad Negligence
Case Number: 
2012 IL 112948
Decision Date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2012
1st Dist.
Cook Co.
Appellate court judgment reversed; circuit court judgment reversed.
Plaintiff, then age 12, had severe foot injury when trying to jump onto moving freight train. As plaintiff was a trespasser, defendant railroad companies owed him no duty of reasonable care, except to refrain from wilfully and wantonly injuries him. Determination of defendants' duty is a question of law for court, not for jury. Child wantonly exposed himself to unmistakable danger in total disregard of fully understood risk, simply for the thrill of the venture, and defendants are not liable to child for resulting injuries, regardless of whether specific injuries were foreseeable.(KILBRIDE, THOMAS, GARMAN, KARMEIER, BURKE, and THEIS, concurring.)