Police & Fire Departments Can Be Sued

The Cook County Record is reporting a significant change in Illinois law made by the state Supreme Court Friday.

Here’s the headline from the article:

Divided IL Supreme Court tosses rule protecting police, fire depts from lawsuits, says rule outdated, despite precedent

Crystal Lake Fire Department Ambulance

Ambulance attendants no longer have absolute immunity against law suits.

The general immunity previously conferred upon police & fire officers, plus paramedics is no more.

The vote was 4-3.

Local Justice Bob Thomas was in the minority, issuing what the publication calls “a scathing dissent.”

The majority ruled, “in cases where the legislature has not provided immunity for certain governmental activities, traditional tort principles apply.”

The case was against theĀ East Joliet Fire Protection District and other local emergency response services and dispatch agencies, the Cook County Report reveals.


Police & Fire Departments Can Be Sued — 7 Comments

  1. What did you expect?

    Judges are simply lawyers creating jobs for lawyers!

    Just like when you elect a lawyer to a political office – you are electing someone who will make jobs for other lawyers!


  2. I guess if the department knows they have problem employees they shouldn’t ignore that fact anymore.

    CPD Burg comes to mind.

  3. The Supreme Court is telling the legislature to pass a law if it is deemed appropriate and I am sure the Illinois Municipal League will lobby for passage.

  4. The types of things we require of police, firefighters, and paramedics, in their line of duty are inherently dangerous and put those public servants in situations that put themselves in harms way.

    That said, to hold them personally liable for torts, both intentional and negligent, is a Pandora’s box that will have future consequences that will lead to public servants having an incentive to avoid these inherently dangerous situations, at the detriment of the public good, for fear of personal liability.

    There is no doubt that the public should be allowed a just remedy through the courts for torts committed.

    But, that remedy should be against the department because it is in the line of duty that the alleged torts were committed.

  5. Well said Hilldale Alum!

    To all elected policy makers, every pepple you throw into the pond has a ripple effect!

  6. I was just in an accident with a private ambulance company, she blew the red light and t boned me, she was just doing a simple transport to the hospital 2 cities over, she was cited and faulted for the accident.

    My attorney said there is no case, because of the immunity.

    I’m hoping this might help

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