Articles Posted in Real Estate Litigation

Raymond Berke fell in the vestibule of an apartment building where he and his wife were staying with friends. A doorman heard but did not see him fall. There were no eyewitnesses. He suffered spinal injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic. He has no memory of his fall.

Berke filed a lawsuit against the building owner and the management company claiming that the vestibule area, stairs and doorway, in particular, were improperly designed and maintained and were a direct and proximate cause of his injuries.  His wife brought a loss of consortium claims against both defendants.

The defendants moved for summary judgment. The trial judge entered judgment in their favor. The Berkes argued that they presented sufficient admissible evidence to support their prima facie case of premises liability that would preclude summary judgment. They also contended that the trial court erred in striking parts of their expert witness affidavits, submitted in support of their response to defendants’ summary judgment motion and that the court should have granted their motion to cite supplemental authority.

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This was a breach of contract case that started out in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County and then became a law matter tried before a jury. In this case, a verdict of $971,858 was the outcome in a lawsuit brought by the Harold O. Schulz Co. Inc. for work it did as a general contractor in the renovation and construction work at 1435 and 1431 N. Astor Street in Chicago.

The work was done from 2007 through 2010.  The two property addresses consisted of three residential buildings, including a 20,000-square-foot historic mansion built in 1894, a coach house and an adjacent residence.

The main house involved in this lawsuit was inhabited by Jay Prtizker, Mary Pritzker and her family.

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Menzies Aviation and CenterPoint Properties Trust entered into a 10-year lease for a warehouse near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in 2007.  CenterPoint owned the warehouse, while Menzies operated an aircargo handling business that included the use of 15,000- and 30,000-pound forklifts.  The warehouse was a single-story, 185,000-square-foot structure built in 1998.

The warehouse had a 6-inch concrete slab that did not show any damage in 2007.  However, by January 2009, the concrete slab was cracking and scaling along the surface and was damaged along the contraction joints.

This type of wear was not typical, but rather was caused by Menzies’ use of heavy forklifts.

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