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Appellate Court affirms ruling that Village of Tinley Park entitled to discretionary immunity for resident drainage complaint

October 2, 2018

In 2011, Patricia and Brian Doyle filed a property damage lawsuit (2011 L 13684) against the Village of Tinley Park and the developer of their home, for alleged damages said to have been caused by leaking water from nearby drainage pipes. Plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that the leaky pipes caused substantial damage to their home and caused emotional distress as well. In its request for summary judgment, the Village argued that it was entitled to 2-201 immunity because the means and methods by which Village staff addressed drainage complaints necessarily involved the exercise of discretion (i.e. each complaint is unique and addressed on a case-by-case basis). There is nothing prescribed or ministerial about it and Courts are not going to second-guess how municipal employees respond to such day-to-day complaints from residents.

My motion to publish this formerly Rule 23 opinion was granted and this decision can now be cited by units of local government confronted with claims that they negligently repaired public property.

Discretionary immunity is one of the strongest tort immunity defenses available and this decision solidified its viability.