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generally.”) (emphasis added). Illinois public policy reposes in parents “primary

responsibility for the safety of their children.” Mt. Zion, 169 Ill. 2d at 126. Thus, “if a

child is too young chronologically or mentally to be ‘at large,’ the duty to supervise that

child as to obvious risks” lies with the parent. Salinas, 189 Ill. App. 3d at 62.

Because it was not open for Choate to try to show that he “subjectively . . . [did]

not actually understand [an obvious] danger” (Booth v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 224

Ill. App. 3d 720, 725 (3d Dist. 1992)), this case could (and should) have been resolved as

a matter of law. Any evidence bearing on Choate’s subjective understanding was “not

appropriate for consideration . . . in a case such as the one at hand where the danger being

considered is one . . . which under ordinary circumstances may reasonably be expected to

be fully understood and appreciated by” the general class of children of Choate’s age. See

Old Second Nat’l Bank of Aurora v. Aurora Turnpike, 156 Ill. App. 3d 62, 66-67 (2d

Dist. 1987). Put another way, because all children “permitted to be at large, beyond the

watchful eye of [their] parents” can be “reasonably expect[ed]”—i.e., as a matter of

law—to appreciate the danger posed by a moving train, any facts that the particular child

might be able to adduce about his own limitations are irrelevant. Mt. Zion, 169 Ill. 2d at

126 (emphasis added). The particular plaintiff’s “subjective understanding” is irrelevant

“when [the] risk is obvious.” Id. at 126-27.

In short, the objective obviousness of the danger of moving trains ends the inquiry

and forecloses the existence of a duty to any child trespasser injured by that danger.4

4 When the plaintiff is an invitee or licensee, the existence of an open and obvious condition is not an “automatic or per se bar to the finding of a legal duty.” Bucheleres v. Chi. Park Dist., 171 Ill. 2d 435, 449 (1996); id. at 451 (quoting Restatement (Second) of Torts § 343A, which addresses duties to “invitees” resulting from obvious dangers). But that principle cannot avail Choate, who was a trespasser. Under the Kahn doctrine, there


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