Yes, this is a real appellate court decision in Illinois...

I can't say that I have ever had a case that wasn't subject to some defense.  With regard to premises liability cases plaintiffs are almost always confronted with one or more of the following:

  1. open and obvious
  2. deminimus 
  3. lack of notice

I was shocked to read the 2nd District Appellate Court's decision in Kun Mook Lee v. Young Rok Lee, 2019 IL App (2d) 180923 because I have taken on some tough cases...I have heard stories of even tougher cases...but this one might very well take the cake.  The Court wasn't shy about its characterization of the plaintiff's conduct.  I think most of us could think of someone we know who might engage in this type of behavior.  I am happy to say, however, that this one was not our client.  If you wish to read the whole opinion, it can be found here.  Otherwise, just skip to the "good part," and read the excerpt below:

Although defendant, as a landowner, had a general duty to protect plaintiff, his invitee, from dangerous conditions on his property, the open-and-obvious rule provided an exception to that duty because the conduct that plaintiff engaged in, tying two ladders together, placing the top ladder against the very tree limb that was to be cut, climbing the ladders with dress shoes on and a chainsaw in his hand, and, finally, cutting the limb that led to his fall constituted, as a matter of law, freakish, bizarre, and fantastic circumstances; plaintiff was barred from recovery since he assumed the risk when he knew that cutting the limb under the circumstances was dangerous but decided to do so anyway.

 


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