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Illinois Resort Owner Owed No Duty To Customer Who Dove Into Lake And Broke Neck

After paying admission, plaintiff dove into a lake at defendant's resort and broke his neck. The defendant moved for summary judgment because the danger of diving into water is open and obvious. In his deposition, plaintiff said he did not see any signs prohibiting diving and because the water was dirty, he could not tell how deep it was. The trial court entered summary judgment for the defendant.

The Second District affirmed. The open and obvious rule generally applies to the usual risks that are posed to a body of water which include drowning and injury from diving. The danger is "open and obvious" not because plaintiff knows in advance that the water was shallow, but because he knows in advance that the body of water may be too shallow for a safe dive. The fact that defendant had a pier from which plaintiff dove did not create a new risk which plaintiff was incapable of appreciating. Bujnowski v. Birchland, Inc., 2015 IL App (2d) 140578.

© 2020 Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.CNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 288


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Litigation of business and commercial cases is a major focus of Heyl Royster. Our experience encompasses all aspects of commercial dispute resolution - state and federal forums, administrative proceedings, arbitration, and mediation - in almost every area of substantive business law.