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An Analysis of the Contraction of Limited Tort Immunity for Recreational Liability in Illinois

May 2009

Chicago partner Barnett Ruttenberg and associate Tom Gianturco co-authored the article "An Analysis of the Contraction of Limited Tort Immunity for Recreational Liability in Illinois" which appears in the Fall 2008 edition of the John Marshall Law Review (42 J. MARSHALL L. REV. 65 (2008)). In the article, Barney and Tom discuss recreational use statutes that give landowners limited tort immunity when they open their land to the public for recreational purposes. The article focuses on the Illinois Recreational Use Act, amended in 2005 to protect only those landowners who allow people to use the property for hunting or shooting. The article suggests how the Act should be changed to conform to its original intent of encouraging private landowners to open their land to the public for an assortment of recreational activities. The article stresses that as the amount of public open land shrinks throughout this country, particularly in populous metropolitan areas such as Chicago, recreational use statutes should be used to encourage landowners to open their land to the public for recreational use, while balancing the need to protect the public from grossly negligent, or willful and wanton conduct by landowners.

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