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designated crossing, the child’s parents are notified by letter. Tr. 1060. The letter informs

parents that their “child was observed trespassing” and that trespassing is “not only

unlawful, but extremely dangerous and could result in a permanent injury or death.”

DX22. If the child is caught a second time, the parents are sent another letter and are

contacted by phone. Id. If a child is caught a third time, the municipality’s police

department becomes involved, and court proceedings are initiated. Tr. 1060-61, 1585-86.

These policing efforts are just one component of defendants’ broader program to

“blanket areas with education” and “condition[] folks to the existence of rail traffic.” Tr.

1420, 1973. Defendants also “were, on an annual basis, regularly in the [Chicago Ridge]

schools” to give safety presentations as part of Operation Lifesaver. Tr. 1229, 1443,

1980. These talks discussed the dangers of trespassing on tracks, throwing objects at

trains, climbing on stopped trains, and similar topics. Tr. 1444, 1453, 1992, 2028.

Audience members were explicitly warned against “try[ing] to ride trains” and were told

to “stay off” passing trains. Tr. 2002.

  • C.

    Proceedings Below.

    • 1.

      Pretrial motions. The circuit court initially granted defendants’ motion for

summary judgment. A11. Defendants argued that they did not owe Choate a duty under

the standard set forth in Kahn v. James Burton Co., 5 Ill. 2d 614 (1955), both because, as

a matter of law, the danger posed by jumping on a moving freight train is “open and

obvious” to trespassing adolescents and because Choate admitted that he had subjectively

appreciated the danger. The circuit court agreed, noting that Choate was “on record

appreciating this danger,” and he was a “boy of eleven, twelve, thirteen years old who

can appreciate the danger.” A7. When Choate moved for reconsideration, however, the

court granted the motion, holding that the jury should determine whether the risk was “so

  • -


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