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Choate’s reliance on LaSalle National Bank v. City of Chicago, 132 Ill. App. 3d

607 (1st Dist. 1985), likewise is misplaced. The plaintiff there, a nine-year-old child

trespasser, suffered injuries when he jumped aboard a moving train after gaining access

to the tracks by climbing through a hole in a fence constructed and maintained by the

defendant, the City of Chicago. Id. at 609. The LaSalle court concluded only that the

jury’s assignment of 18% comparative fault to the plaintiff did not necessarily mean that

he “actually [i.e., subjectively] appreciated the danger of flipping railroad cars.” Id. at

615 (emphasis added). The court had no occasion to decide whether the danger of a

moving train is, as a matter of law, objectively obvious to the general class of children

old enough to be allowed at large. In any event, the “LaSalle court specifically limited its

holding to the narrowly drawn circumstances of the case” (Johnston v. Ill. Bell Tel. Co.,

195 Ill. App. 3d 501, 504 (1st Dist. 1990)), and “specifically noted [the court was] relying

on the city’s contractual duty to erect and maintain the fence,” as well as the “significant”

factors “that a fence already existed, that the city had been told several times it was in

need of repair, and that the [adjacent] land consisted of a playground” (Foreman v.

Consol. Rail Corp., 214 Ill. App. 3d 700, 705 (1st Dist. 1991)). None of the factors

considered “significant” by the LaSalle court in finding that the defendant owed a duty to

the child trespasser is present here. In particular, defendants had no independent duty

(whether contractual or imposed by Illinois law, Tr. 1306-07, 2070) to erect fencing

generally” in this sense is an issue of law. Salinas, 189 Ill. App. 3d at 187 (emphasis added); see also Colls, 212 Ill. App. 3d at 945 (“[T]here can be no recovery if children of a similar age and experience as the plaintiff are capable of understanding the danger involved.”). Any contrary understanding of Engel would be inconsistent with the Illinois Supreme Court’s admonition that when the risk is objectively obvious to children generally, there is no duty irrespective of the particular plaintiff’s “subjective understanding,” which is “not considered.” Mt. Zion, 169 Ill. 2d at 126-27; see also Booth, 224 Ill. App. 3d at 725; Colls, 212 Ill. App. 3d at 945; Salinas, 189 Ill. App. 3d at 61; Swearingen, 181 Ill. App. 3d at 362.

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