You lose, Illinois taxpayers

A big win for plaintiff’s lawyers: “Rewriting decades of established law in Illinois, the [state’] high court — by a 4-3 margin — repealed the public-duty doctrine that holds local government entities, including fire and police departments, owe their duty to protect to the general public, not individual citizens. The lawsuit opens the way for individuals to sue governmental entities based on some claim of harm caused to them as a result of the public entity’s negligence.” [Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, Cook County Record, Municipal Minute; some related issues of government duty-to-protect exposure from the state of Washington]


  • OTOH, maybe it’s “You win, Illinois citizens.”

    Instead of paying taxes for do-nothing public servants, maybe now they will actually get protection and service from the police and fire department. As opposed to, say, being shot down in cold blood.

    An intriguing bypath: if one police officer shoots at an innocent person, can the other officers at the scene now be sued for not stopping her? For example, by shooting the rogue police officer.

    • Sue each other?
      No they sue the estate of the innocent person they shot, with the theory that by dying in front of their smoking gun that the officer suffers extreme emotional upset. (Not joking, see

      • Ah, but that logic only obtains under the old perspective of no personal obligation to the victim.* Now that there is individual responsibility, the family of the victim may sue the officer for infliction of emotional distress as his bullets were shredding the innocent victim’s internal organs.

        *Interesting the parallel to the 2nd Amendment. Collective right or individual right? Can it be that the court system is starting to see American citizens as individuals rather than just members of a collective?

  • One of the most compelling arguments for the right to keep and bear arms is the fact that the state, in general, does not have an obligation to protect the individual. That is up to us.