United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit - 362 F.3d 949
This is a wrongful death case against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The plaintiff was awarded $4 million in a district court judgment, which the government is appealing. The case involves a 14-month-old child who was abused by a babysitter while under the care of a Navy enlisted man stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois. The medical personnel at Great Lakes Naval Hospital failed to report possible child abuse to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, as required by the state's Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. The government concedes that the medical personnel violated the Act. The plaintiff argues that the death of her child was caused by the Navy personnel's violation of the Illinois abuse-notification statute in regard to another child, and that this violation is prima facie evidence of negligence under the common law of Illinois. However, the court cannot create good Samaritan liability under Illinois law, and the plaintiff needs the abuse-notification statute to maintain the suit, as there is no common law tort claim.
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