Police Officer Slip and Fall Injury Because of a Defect In the Sidewalk

In Hedberg v. Mendino, 218 Ill. App. 3d 1087, 1089, 579 N.E.2d 398, 161 Ill. Dec. 850 (1991), the plaintiff, a police officer, was injured when he tripped on a defect in the sidewalk leading up to the defendant's premises. The plaintiff was on the premises in response to a call concerning a possible prowler. The court held that the fireman's rule did not bar the plaintiff's negligence claim, because the "plaintiff was injured by a cause independent of the emergency he was investigating." Hedberg, 218 Ill. App. 3d at 1093. the plaintiff was on the property to investigate a prowler, not to investigate the sidewalk. The court stated that the "plaintiff had a right to assume that the premises were reasonably safe for his entry onto defendant's land at a time he was concerned with investigating and possibly protecting himself from the prowler." Hedberg, 218 Ill. App. 3d at 1091.