The Circuit Court of Fayette County, Illinois, recently dismissed a wrongful death action based upon a motion drafted and presented by Reed Armstrong Associate Stephen M. Szewczyk. The children of a certain family were babysitting a young child who exited the house without anyone’s knowledge and walked into a pond located on adjacent property and drowned. The child’s parents settled their wrongful death claim against the babysitting household for a significant sum. The parents also sued the owners of the pond for wrongful death. The pond owners argued that the settlement and release executed by the parents and the babysitting household applied equally to them because both households had acted jointly in the excavation and operation of the pond and such cooperative action created an association. The pond owners asserted that the settlement and release specifically applied to partnerships and associations and, therefore, applied to them and released them from liability.
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