Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Illinois

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The owners of units in Sienna Court Condominiums, a newly-constructed 111-residential-unit Evanston property sued, alleging that the developer, TR, sold the units with latent defects that resulted in water infiltration and other conditions that rendered the individual units and common areas unfit for habitation. The complaint alleged breach of an express warranty and breach of an implied warranty of habitability against TR, the general contractor, the architect and engineering design firms, material suppliers and several subcontractors. TR and the general contractor were bankrupt. The unit owners obtained relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay. TR and the general contractor had two separate insurance policies, each providing coverage of $1 million per occurrence with $2 million aggregate limits. Plaintiffs had recovered approximately $308,000 from TR through a warranty escrow fund required by Evanston ordinance. Subcontractors and the material suppliers asserted that they were not subject to an implied warranty of habitabililty. The circuit court denied their motion to dismiss. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that a purchaser of a newly constructed home may not assert a claim for breach of an implied warranty of habitability against a subcontractor who took part in the construction of the home, where the subcontractor had no contractual relationship with the purchaser. View "Sienna Court Condominium Assoc. v. Champion Aluminum Corp." on Justia Law

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In 2011, Henderson Square Condominium Association sued, alleging: breach of the implied warranty of habitability, fraud, negligence, breach of the Chicago Municipal Code’s prohibition against misrepresenting material facts in marketing and selling real estate, and breach of a fiduciary duty. The defendants were developers that entered into a contract with the city for a mixed use project, the Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland Redevelopment Project. Sales in the project had begun in 1996. The trial court dismissed, finding that plaintiffs failed to adequately plead the Chicago Municipal Code violation and breach of fiduciary duty and that counts were time-barred under the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/13-214). The appellate court reversed. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. A condominium association generally has standing to pursue claims that affect the unit owners or the common elements. A question of fact remains as to whether defendants’ failure to speak about construction deficiencies or to adequately fund reserves, coupled with earlier alleged misrepresentations, amounted to fraudulent concealment for purposes of exceptions to the limitation and repose periods. It is possible that minor repairs, along with the limited nature of water infiltration, reasonably delayed plaintiffs’ hiring of professional contractors to open the wall and discover latent defects. The date when plaintiffs reasonably should have known that an injury occurred and that it was wrongfully caused was a question of fact. View "Henderson Square Condo. Ass'n v. LAB Townhomes, LLC" on Justia Law

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In 2010, plaintiff filed a complaint and sought class certification, alleging that defendant sent unsolicited fax advertisement, violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. 227) and the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/2) and constituting common-law conversion of toner and paper. Each count included class allegations indicating that plaintiff was filing on behalf of a class estimated at over 40 individuals. Defendant unsuccessfully sought summary judgment solely on count I (federal Act), alleging that on three separate occasions it tendered an unconditional offer of payment exceeding the total recoverable damages, rendering the claim moot. The court reasoned that defendant did not offer tender on count I before plaintiff moved for class certification and rejected defendant’s argument that the motion was merely a “shell” motion. The appellate court affirmed certification of the class on counts II and III but reversed class certification on count I, agreeing that plaintiff’s initial motion for class certification, filed concurrently with its complaint, was an insufficient “shell” motion. The Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the trial court decision, holding that its precedent did not impose any explicit requirements on the motion for class certification, let alone a heightened evidentiary or factual basis for the motion. View "Ballard RN Center, Inc. v. Kohll's Pharmacy & Homecare, Inc." on Justia Law