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Article posted: 6/8/2013 8:00 AM

Caterer claims 'act of God' for injuries in storm suit

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A caterer that is being sued for negligence after three people were injured last August when a severe storm whipped through the Kane County Cougars stadium in Geneva has argued the storm was an "act of God."

The team, along with the Kane County Forest Preserve District, also are defendants in the lawsuit filed by St. Charles sisters Abigail and Mary Gaffney, along with Erin Gautille.

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Gautille and Abigail Gaffney were St. Charles East High School seniors at the time; Mary Gaffney was a college student when the storm blew through the stadium Aug. 4, 2012, during a charity event for the high school's band boosters.

A lawsuit filed in February argues the three entities were negligent in not monitoring the storm as it was coming and failing to take proper precautions to protect volunteers.

In recently filed court papers, the attorney for Professional Sports Catering LLC argued the company should not be held liable for any injuries.

"Plaintiffs alleged injuries and damages were solely caused by an act of God beyond the control of this party defendant, thus barring or reducing any recovery that may be had against this defendant," wrote the catering company's attorney, Kevin Owens, who could be reached for comment.

The forest preserve owns the stadium where the Cougars play and its attorney, Patrick Kinnally, has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Kinnally could not be reached for comment.

A hearing is scheduled Thursday before Judge Edward Schreiber.

The Gaffneys and Gautille seek a jury trial and more than $50,000 damages.

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