Does anyone remember the big porch collapse in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago in 2003?
Well, the Illinois Supreme Court has finally ruled on the merit of civil lawsuits against the City for not enforcing the building code and the city’s liability. People were using the City because they claimed that the City was negligent in their inspection of the porch.
The ruling states that cities and local code officials cannot be held liable for deaths or damages of private property because that property was not in complience with the local building codes.
"**CHICAGO – **The city of Chicago will not be held liable for damages in dozens of lawsuits filed after a porch collapsed in Lincoln Park in 2003, according to an Illinois Appellate Court ruling released Wednesday.
The ruling stems from 38 lawsuits filed on behalf of people killed and injured when a porch collapsed during a party at 713 W. Wrightwood. Thirteen people were killed in the collapse, which happened June 29, 2003.
The city was sued for negligent inspection of the porch, according to a release by the city’s law department.
“While we certainly do not condone the city’s behavior related to the inspection of the subject porch, [the city] did not owe the individual plaintiffs a duty to protect them against its collapse,” Judge Alan Greiman wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.
The court rejected plaintiff’s assertions that the city was liable for the injuries, which happened on private property.
The court held that while the law requires that owners of private property adhere to certain duties with respect to the safety of their property, the law does not require a municipality to ensure that private property is safe, according to the release.
The defendants plan to file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs also sued L.G. Properties Co., the owner of the building where the collapse happened, as well as the people who constructed the porch. Wednesday’s ruling does not affect those other lawsuits."
BTW: Watch for the new problem to be roof decks. Builders are putting wooden roof decks on flat roofs all the time around here. Those I have seen sumply have the joists resting directly on the modified bituman roof. No structural engineer sign off and the roof covering manufacturer doesn’t allow this. I have seen many where the roof starts leaking in a year ot two and 2 cases where the deck has gone down into the condo unit below. No one hurt, that I know of, so far. The deck is not in the plans but just added by the builder as a buyer’s incentive.