Illinois S.Ct. gets it right!


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X-out
November 18, 2004, 03:15 PM
"By posing this question, we do not intend to minimize the very real problem of violent crime and the difficult tasks facing law enforcement and other public officials. Nor do we intend to dismiss the concerns of citizens who live in areas where gun crimes are particularly frequent. Rather, we are reluctant to state that there is a public right to be free from the threat that some individuals may use an otherwise legal product (be it a gun, liquor, a car, a cell phone, or some other instrumentality) in a manner that may create a risk of harm to another.

For example, the purchase and consumption of alcohol by adults is legal, while driving under the influence is a crime. If there is public right to be free from the threat that others may use a lawful product to break the law, that right would include the right to drive upon the highways, free from the risk of injury posed by drunk drivers. This public right to safe passage on the highways would provide the basis for public nuisance claims against brewers and distillers, distributing companies, and proprietors of bars, taverns, liquor stores, and restaurants with liquor licenses, all of whom could be said to contribute to an interference with the public right.

Similarly, cell phones, DVD players, and other lawful products may be misused by drivers, creating a risk of harm to others. In an increasing number of jurisdictions, state legislatures have acted to ban the use of these otherwise legal products while driving. A public right to be free from the threat that other drivers may defy these laws would permit nuisance liability to be imposed on an endless list of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of manufactured products that are intended to be, or are likely to be, used by drivers, distracting them and causing injury to others."

http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2004/November/Opinions/Html/95243.htm

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Bubbles
November 18, 2004, 04:28 PM
Whoa - talk about a long read! I had to skim a lot of it.

Too bad the court didn't make Chicago pay Beretta's legal fees.

DonP
November 18, 2004, 05:03 PM
See what happen the minute they get out of Cook Couty and Daley's hand picked judges?

Not only did they decide against him and the Amici briefs put in by Lisa Madigan. They judicially laughed in his face.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the ILSC conclusion. Edited for space.


IV. CONCLUSION

Plaintiffs (City of Chicago and Cook Coutny) and the amicus briefs (filed by Lisa Madigan and the US Conf. of Mayors, Democrats) supporting their position advocate expansion of the common law of public nuisance to encompass their novel claim. They anticipate our reluctance to expand nuisance liability in an area highly regulated by both state and federal law and urge that it is not only within our inherent authority, but it is also our duty, to construe the common law to aid a local government's effort to protect its citizens from gun violence.

To do so, we would have had to decide each of the issues raised in this appeal in plaintiffs' favor. In effect, we would have had to resolve every "close call" in favor of creating an entirely new species of public nuisance liability. Instead, after careful consideration, we conclude that plaintiffs have not stated a claim for public nuisance. Even granting that a public right has been infringed, we conclude that their assertions of negligent conduct are not supported by any recognized duty on the part of the manufacturer and distributor defendants and that their allegations of intentional conduct are insufficient for public nuisance liability as a matter of law.

By implication, proximate cause is also lacking as to the manufacturer and distributor defendants, who are even further removed from the intervening criminal acts. Finally, we hold that plaintiffs' action for damages is barred by the Moorman doctrine and the municipal cost recovery rule.

Any change of this magnitude in the law affecting a highly regulated industry must be the work of the legislature, brought about by the political process, not the work of the courts. In response to the suggestion of amici that we are abdicating our responsibility to declare the common law, we point to the virtue of judicial restraint.

Now, go home Richie. That's two gun related "butt whuppins" in one week for you and your meat puppet Roddy.

I partiularly love the use of the term "Novel Claim", as in you pinheads have got to be kidding us!!!

MrPhil
November 18, 2004, 05:09 PM
I've been a member for a while and this is the first time I've looked in this area. WOW! I'll be back. I've got some catching up to do!

Standing Wolf
November 18, 2004, 06:13 PM
I'm sure the leftist extremists don't mind losing yet another frivolous law suit: they've succeeded in costing the firearms manufacturers a great deal of money, which means they've driven up the prices of firearms.

El Tejon
November 18, 2004, 08:50 PM
Went to grad school with the staff attorney for the Illinois Court of Appeals. She told me the fix was in at the COA level when Daley filed the suit. 160 LaSalle has a personal crusade against all you eeevil gun owners out there.

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