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Case Law Update: Duty of Care in School Maintenance

Madden v. F. H. Paschien, S. N. Nielson, Inc., No. 1-07-1811 (9-30-09) affirmed that a design consultant and construction manager owed no duty to school maintenance worker who suffered severe injuries from falling into open orchestra pit, as they had no control over premises or plaintiff, no authority to direct work, no decisional power over safety on project or over pit. Sole possession of premises had been turned over to school by temporary occupancy permit issued 2 weeks before accident. The design consultant and construction manager were not vicariously responsible for the school’s negligence, as they did not exert any control over school, and school is not their independent contractor. This Illinois case will impact construction law.