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Reda and Suddarth Obtain Dismissal with Prejudice for Public Water District

HeplerBroom attorney Michael Reda HeplerBroom attorney Matthew Suddarth

Michael Reda and Matthew Suddarth recently obtained an order granting a Motion to Dismiss with prejudice a complaint against a Madison County (Illinois) public water district and its employee.

Plaintiff filed his complaint in November 2023, alleging negligence against the public water district and its employee based on an incident involving the employee that allegedly occurred in December 2021. Reda and Suddarth filed a Motion to Dismiss on the basis that Plaintiff failed to file his complaint within the one-year statute of limitations mandated by the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. (This Act provides certain protections for local public entities and their employees.)

After the court granted dismissal, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration. He argued that dismissal was improper because the employee could be sued in his individual capacity irrespective of the Tort Immunity Act, discovery was needed to determine whether the employee was acting in the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, and equitable estoppel applied to bar the statute of limitations. Reda and Suddarth filed an opposition which, among other things, noted that the Illinois legislature intended the Tort Immunity Act to apply broadly. Following oral argument, the court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration and affirmed dismissal against both the Water District and the employee with prejudice.

Reda, a partner in the firm’s St. Louis office, has 40 years of experience in tort litigation, including the defense of cases covering claims against municipal and state governments. He has been named an Illinois Leading Lawyer by Illinois Law Bulletin.

Suddarth, an associate in the firm’s St. Louis office, focuses his practice on trials involving the defense of complex business litigation matters. He served as a 2021 HeplerBroom Summer Associate.


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