Englund v. Englund – Case Brief Summary (Illinois)

In Englund v. Englund (1993) 246 Ill. App. 3d 468 186 Ill. Dec. 57, 615 N.E.2d 861, a three-year-old child drowned in a swimming pool during a party and the child's mother, also present at the party, sued the homeowners.

The Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the homeowners, noting that the pool presented an obvious drowning danger, the mother knew that her child was playing alone in an area hidden from her view and a short distance from the pool area, and the mother knew that the homeowners were busy attending to their guests and not watching the children playing in the pool or yard. (Englund, supra, 615 N.E.2d at p. 867.)

The court held that "it was not foreseeable that plaintiff would fail to supervise her daughter adequately, and it is more desirable to place the substantial burden of supervising plaintiff's daughter upon plaintiff rather than the homeowners. We will not require the homeowners to anticipate negligence on plaintiff's part and guard against it." (Ibid.)