Plaintiff files for dismissal in case against Catholic Children's Home in Alton

Christina Stueve May 2, 2012, 11:55am


The woman who claimed that residents of a Catholic youth home in Alton attacked her filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of a suit filed last year in Madison County Circuit Court.

Plaintiff Christina Geisen claimed that on Nov. 24, 2009, she was attacked by residents of the youth home, while she attempted to enter her home near the facility.

She filed the notice of dismissal on April 27.

Catholic Children's Home had argued that Illinois law does not impose a legal duty to protect a neighborhood from children who leave a facility without permission.

Geisen alleged the home was careless in how it secured the center, that it "maintained a facility for juvenile delinquents with complete indifference to the safety of residents in the vicinity," and that it did not protect Alton residents from the youths living at the home.

The children's home responded that Geisen was a victim of a spontaneous assault by three teenagers who were placed at the Catholic Children's Home at the judgment of Illinois social workers.

"Their decision was the official and professional determination that the youth in question were suitable for the program at the Catholic Children's Home, a child-care institution, not a detention center. It cannot legally detain or restrain its residents," according to the document.

"The fact that there have been runaways in the past that may have engaged in improper conduct does not convert the Catholic Children's Home into a detention center."

Geisen sought damages in excess of $50,000 in her suit.

John English represented Geisen.

Daniel Farroll and Tara Wiebusch represented the Catholic Children's Home.

Chief Judge Ann Callis in February granted the defendant's motion to dismiss.

The case is Madison case number 11-L-163.

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