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Downey & Lenkov Secures Several Favorable Decisions in Illinois Court and Arbitration Panel Decision

Downey & Lenkov LLC is on a roll!

In the past 2 months we have secured several favorable Illinois court and arbitration panel decisions. These state and appellate court decisions include successful summary judgment and other dispositive motions on a variety of matters ranging from employment to construction defect to personal injury cases. In addition, an arbitration panel found in our client’s favor on a mechanic’s lien dispute in which the Plaintiff had sought $2.9 million dollars.

We also continue to quickly and cost efficiently resolve all types of defense cases through early settlement in Illinois and Indiana.

Jessica Jackler secured affirmance of a trial court’s granting of summary judgment by the Illinois Appellate Court in Eckerty v. Eastern Illinois Foodbank; No. 19L112. Plaintiff alleged unlawful termination of his employment in retaliation for exercising his rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Defendant moved for summary judgment which the trial court granted. On appeal, because there was no genuine issue of material facts, the appellate court agreed that Defendant was entitled to judgment as matter of law on Plaintiff’s retaliatory discharge claim.

Margery Newman secured a finding of no liability on a $2.9 million dollar mechanic’s lien dispute when an Illinois arbitration panel ruled in favor of Defendant. The Plaintiff was a developer of a hotel chain who hired the Defendant to design and specify furniture fixtures and equipment (“FF&E”) for the hotel and to change its brand. The primary claim against Defendant was a breach of contract due to taking excessive time to prepare the various interior design “deliverables” for the project, in addition to various claims for improperly specifying certain FF&E for the hotel.

This was a complete win for the Defendant as Plaintiff recovered nothing and was ordered to pay Defendant their unpaid balance for the project.

► In an Illinois Cook County case involving alleged tortious interference with a contract and aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty, Ryan Danahey secured a motion to dismiss the entire case with prejudice. In his motion Ryan successfully argued that the Plaintiff’s employee had not responded to a specific request for assent to the contract terms and that the evidence alleged as to assent by behavior was unfounded. Further, because the Plaintiff never signed the contract, he argued that as there was no agreement on the terms and therefore our client could not have aided and abetted any breach of fiduciary duty pursuant to that alleged contract.

► The Cook County Circuit Court granted Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment against Plaintiff’s allegations of unlawful termination, fraudulent misrepresentation, and retaliatory discharge. The court agreed with Jessica Jackler and Jeff Kehl’s arguments of undisputed evidence of no unambiguous promise and/or false statement of material fact and that Plaintiff was an at-will employee.

Ryan Danahey secured a summary judgment in the Illinois Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of a property management company. Plaintiff alleged negligence resulting in property damages and personal injuries related to water intrusion and subsequent mold intrusion. The property damages claim was dismissed based on a waiver of subrogation clause. The court agreed with us that because the Plaintiff’s insurer paid $1 million for the property damages the Plaintiff could not recover those damages twice. Such a double recovery and would have violated the clear intent of all parties to shift the risk for all property damages to the relevant insurance companies.

Summary judgment was also granted to the alleged personal injuries. Plaintiff, by virtue of being a condominium owner and as agreeing to the terms in the declarations and bylaws, agreed to waive any damages related to mold, as outlined in the management agreement between the association and our client’s property management company. The court dismissed any argument that such a contractual limitation violated public policy or represented an adhesion contract. The court held that the clear language of this provision was binding upon Plaintiff and prohibited a claim for personal injury damages against the property management company.

Downey & Lenkov LLC is a full-service coverage and insurance defense firm with offices in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. We handle all casualty and specialty lines, employment, commercial and workers’ compensation cases on behalf of our corporate and insurance clients.

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