Justia Construction Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Illinois Supreme Court
People v. Le Mirage, Inc.
In 2003, a stampede at a Chicago nightclub killed 21 people and injured 50 others. Security guards had released pepper spray to break up a fight on the dance floor, and a rush to the exit crushed these victims. The operators of a restaurant and bar in the building were acquitted on charges of involuntary manslaughter. They were held in indirect criminal contempt for willful violation of court orders concerning building code violations, and received two-year prison sentences. Those orders prohibited occupancy of a suspended mezzanine and occupancy of the second floor of the building. The appellate court ruled that the original orders were not clear and reversed the finding of indirect criminal contempt in 2011. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed and remanded for consideration of other issues, holding that the jury could have found the defendants guilty as charged beyond a reasonable doubt View "People v. Le Mirage, Inc." on Justia Law
Patrick Eng’g v. City of Naperville
Patrick Engineering signed a 2007 contract with the City of Naperville for work on a stormwater management system. Some work was done and some payments were made, but the parties fell into a dispute over “additional services.” Patrick terminated the agreement and sued Naperville, seeking $436,392. The agreement provided that if Naperville made a verbal request for additional services, the engineers were required to confirm that request in writing and were not obligated to perform the changes until authorized in writing. This procedure was not followed; equitable estoppel became the crux of the case. The trial court dismissed. The appellate court reversed. The city did not appeal with respect to claims of quantum meruit and under the Illinois Local Government Prompt Payment Act, which remain pending in the trial court. The supreme court reversed with respect to other claims and reinstated the dismissals. While equitable estoppel may apply against municipalities in extraordinary and compelling circumstances, Illinois courts have never held that apparent authority may be applied against municipalities. To recover in equitable estoppel, plaintiff must allege specific facts showing that municipal officials possessed actual, rather than apparent, authority on which plaintiff reasonably relied.View "Patrick Eng'g v. City of Naperville" on Justia Law