Governments May Be Sued for Negligence in Domestic Violence Cases

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The court decreed in a separate opinion that Rock Island and Henry County authorities can't be sued for not investigating a 2002 traffic accident in which Doris Hays died.

That case is covered by a broader long-standing law that prevents lawsuits against local governments.

Justices ruled that the estate of Ronyale White may sue the Chicago Police Department because police failed to respond to White's April 2002 complaint that her estranged husband was in her home with a gun before he fatally shot her.

The state's domestic violence law allows lawsuits in cases of "willful or wanton misconduct."