Granite City Middle School blames boy who fell on ice of failing to care for his own safety

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 2, 2014

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian set a jury trial in a case alleging a Granite City Middle School student fell on ice at school.

The jury trial has been scheduled for March 16, 2015.

According to the complaint filed Sept. 18, Change Kloepper was trying to enter the Gringsby Middle School on Jan. 3, 2013, around 8:50 a.m. when he slipped on a patch of ice on the sidewalk. The ice allegedly formed from the drainage of an exterior gutter, Kloepper’s mother, Pamela Branscum, claims.

The Granite City Community Unit School is accused of negligently failing to maintain its premises in a safe condition, failing to monitor the sidewalk to prevent unnatural accumulations of snow and ice, failing to clean unnatural accumulations of snow and ice and installing a downspout that allowed ice to accumulate on the sidewalk.

The Granite City school filed its amended affirmative defenses after further discovery alleging the boy contributed to his alleged injuries.

The school district adds that the claimant failed to exercise due care for his own safety and keep a proper lookout, causing his own injuries. He also failed to properly mitigate his damages.

It claims the injuries, if any, were caused by the claimant’s negligence and requested recovery be reduced and proportioned by any alleged negligence and fault on the boy’s part.

Also, the defendant contends the alleged icy condition was “open and obvious,” which should preclude recovery.

Despite negligence arguments against the claimant, the school district claims protection and immunity under both the Local Government and Government Employees Tort Immunity Act and the Illinois School Code.

The claimant replied to the affirmative defenses on March 10, denying each and every argument raised by the Granite City school district.

The plaintiff seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

Donald J. Ohl and Heather Mueller-Jones of Knapp, Ohl & Green of Edwardsville represent the Granite City School.

Samuel A. Mormino of Mormion, Velloff & Snider in Alton represents the plaintiffs.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1586

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