Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Dismissal of Battery Claim Against University Professor

If you are involved in a battery, you can bring a claim against the person who injured you for compensation. This civil claim is separate and independent from any criminal liability that the person may face as a result of the altercation. A battery can be an incredibly traumatic and damaging experience. Many victims are hesitant to pursue action because they want to put the painful situation behind them. Contacting a Chicago personal injury lawyer and seeking representation can help you alleviate some of the stress of pursuing the compensation that you deserve from the person who hurt you. Contact Therman Law Offices now to set up a time to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case where the plaintiff was a student at Chicago State University who alleged that a professor engaged in a battery against her. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the professor was yelling at the students to be quiet when the plaintiff was singled out. The professor began to eject her from the class by dragging the desk in which she was sitting several feet. Eventually, the professor grabbed the plaintiff by her coat and arm and dragged her out of the classroom. When the plaintiff attempted to reenter the room, the professor blocked her. He then returned to her desk and kicked her personal items onto the floor.

The plaintiff alleged battery against the professor as well as three additional counts against the board of trustees of the university. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction over the claims and that the defendants were protected under the Illinois Tort Immunity Act, which limits the situations in which a state entity can be sued for civil claims. The lower court granted the defendants’ motions and dismissed the action.

The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the court had jurisdiction over the matter because it arose from the professor’s breach of duty owed to the general public and that he acted beyond the scope of his authority as a university employee.

The professor referenced a copy of the University’s Faculty Handbook and pointed to sections that tasked the professor with managing an orderly classroom environment for the benefit of his class and that any duties he may have breached arose from his status as a government employee. The appellate court ultimately reversed the lower court’s dismissal finding that the plaintiff sufficiently pled a battery in violation of Illinois law. It rejected the professor’s argument that his actions were shielded entirely within his status as a state employee.

If someone hurt you, then you may be owed financial compensation. At Therman Law Offices, our tenacious Chicago personal injury lawyers will provide you with the attentive, diligent, and compassionate legal counsel that you need during this situation. The legal process can be confusing, but an attorney can help make sure that you follow the right procedures and receive the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. Call our office now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.

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