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Duncan v. Rzonca
Illinois Appellate Court
478 N.E.2d 603 (1985)
Police officer Alan Duncan (plaintiff) was injured in an automobile accident caused by Raymond Rzonca (defendant) while responding to a false robbery alarm from Hinsdale Federal Savings and Loan Association (the bank) (defendant). The alarm was activated by Charles Doerr, the three-year-old son of Patricia Doerr (defendant). Duncan sued the bank, Doerr, and Rzonca for negligence. Charles also had activated the false alarm six days earlier, and Carol Crowell, a bank employee, told Doerr that Charles triggered the silent alarm the last time they visited the bank, causing police to respond. Crowell requested that Doerr keep Charles away from the back of her desk where the alarm button was located. Crowell stepped away from her desk, and another bank employee saw Charles behind Crowell’s desk near the alarm button and directed him to come out from the behind the desk. Duncan’s complaint alleged the bank failed to prevent the activation of the false alarm and failed to notify him that the alarm was false. The bank argued only hindsight could have allowed it to foresee that the silent alarm’s location or that failure to keep Charles under control would result in injury. The bank asserted that it had no duty to Duncan because Duncan failed to establish the foreseeability of the harm. The court granted the bank’s motion to dismiss. Duncan appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Unverzagt, J.)
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