Monte Mann Secures Win on Appeal of $25 Million Contract for Building Co-owner
Monte Mann, a partner in Armstrong Teasdale’s new Chicago office, secured an important victory for his client, the partial owner of a historical landmark in downtown Chicago, in a dispute with the other owner over a significant repair contract for the building’s façade. In total, these repairs to the building, which sits just blocks from the courthouse, may cost more than $25 million.
In an unusual ownership structure, the client owns nine floors of the high-rise building used as residential property, with the rest, a mix of retail and office space, owned by the other owner. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a trial court’s order requiring both owners to sign a contract for repairs to the building’s unique terra cotta façade, and place $4.5 million in escrow as a deposit to start the project. Although Mann’s client has been ready, willing and able to sign the contract and fund the deposit, the other owner repeatedly failed and refused to comply with the court’s order.
When the other owner failed to sign the contract and fund the deposit, the court found the other owner in civil contempt of court and assessed a $500 daily fine until it complied with the order, which was later increased to $1,000 per day. The other owner appealed, stating the trial court erred and exceeded its authority by (a) ordering the contract to be signed, and (b) finding it in contempt of court. The appellate court found the trial court had not erred in its order requiring the other owner to sign the contract, nor had it abused its discretion in finding the other owner in contempt of court. Mann worked with co-counsel from another firm on this important appeal.