Follow our firm on:

Free consultation:


Pay Online Menu

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Family of Trespassing Youth

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Family of Trespassing Youth

Date: July 31, 2012

Around 3 a.m. on July 2, 2012, a 17 year-old boy and two other friends used a fire escape to sneak into the former Ravenswood Hospital in Chicago. The building has been vacant since the 1990s. The teenagers were exploring the second story when the boy fell through a hole in the floor. He was severely injured and rushed to a hospital, where he died a few hours later. Neither of the other two teenagers sustained injuries.

The boy’s father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against both the owner of the building and the company that was hired to keep the abandoned building secure. The lawsuit alleges that the building was not adequately secured from trespassers and that the defendants failed to keep the building in a safe condition. After the accident, the City Inspector checked the building and reported that it had not been “securely maintained.”

According to the legal theory of “premises liability,” whether or not an owner has a duty to a trespasser, who has no right to enter the property, depends on the law of the state. In Illinois, a landowner generally only has a duty to refrain from intentionally hurting a trespasser, but there are certain exceptions that may allow damages to be awarded to a trespasser for injuries sustained on the property or for the family in the wake of a wrongful death.

One exception is the “frequent trespass doctrine.” If owners are aware that there are frequent trespassers on the property and also are aware “of a corresponding risk of harm,” owners have a duty to protect trespassers from that harm. The reasoning is that “human safety” is more important than landowners’ freedom to do with their private property as they wish.

Source: NBC Chicago, “Family Sues Over Trespassing Teen’s Fatal Hospital Fall,” July 18, 2012.

Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Premises Liability page.

Providing Law Solutions In An Equitable & Cost-Effective Manner

Contact sam law office llc

Need Our Help? Get Your Free Consultation!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Attorney Advertising. This information is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results and testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case, and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation of similar results in future matters because each case involves many different factors, therefore, results will differ on a case-by-case basis. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.

NUVEW | SAM LAW OFFICE LLC Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved | Accessibility Notice | Privacy Policy

Call Now Button