2021 Illinois Legal Updates and Case Law Summaries

The circuit court dismissed the complaint based on the decision of the Illinois Supreme Court in Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Corporation , 2018 IL 122022, ¶ 30. The First District affirmed, finding that there was no contractual privity between the general contractor and the unit owners, relying on the Sienna decision. The appellate court applied the economic loss rule because the Association’s injury was purely ec onomic and therefore the unit owners of the Association must be privity of contract with the General Contractor. The Association tried to make an argument about assignment of contract from the developer to the general contractor, but the appellate court was not persuaded by these arguments as they weren’t supported by fact or law. Therefore, based on the decision of this case, the Sienna decision precluding the warranty of habitability applying to subcontractors was extended to preclude it from applying to general contractors when there is no privity of contract.

Channon v. Westward Mgmt., 2021 IL App (1st) 210176-U

Prior unit owners filed a class action against the management company for charging them excessive and unreasonable fees to provide them with the documents required to be provided to prospective purchasers. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss but certified a question of law to the first district. The prior unit owners requested the documents pursuant to section 22.1. The management company provided a standard form for requesting the documents along with the charge for each document. The prior unit owners were charged $245.00 for obtaining the documents. “The certified question is whether section 22.1 of the Condominium Property Act (7 65 ILCS 605/22.1 (West 2016)) provides an implied cause of action in favor of a condominium unit seller against a property manager, as agent of a condominium association or board of directors, based on allegations that the property manager charged excessive fees for the production of information required to be disclosed to a prospective buyer under that statute.” Channon v. Westward Mgmt. , 2021 IL App (1st) 210176-U, ¶ 13. The appellate court first determined if an implied right of action exists under the statute before considering the question of agency. The court found that there is clearly no express right of action under section 22.1; however, the appellate court found that there was an implied right of action based on the four-element test laid out by the Illinois Supreme Court. See Metzger v. DaRosa , 209 Ill. 2d 30, 36, 282 Ill. Dec. 148, 151, 805 N.E.2d 1165, 1168 (2004); Fisher v. Lexington Health Care , 188 Ill. 2d 455, 460, 243 Ill. Dec. 46, 48-49, 722 N.E.2d 1115, 1117-18 (1999). Finding that the prior unit owners have an implied private right of action under section 22.1, the appellate court second issue was whether this action only exists against the Association and the Board, or if extends to the property manager as agent. The court stated, “W e agree with the trial court's reasoning. Although section 22.1 itself does not specifically mention that the statutory duties of a condominium unit owners' association may be performed by its managing agent, we see no reason why this would not be one of the "services" for which an association's board of managers may engage a managing agent under section 18(a)(5). 765 ILCS 605/18(a)(5) (West 2016).” Channon v. Westward Mgmt. , 2021 IL App (1st) 210176-U, ¶¶ 31. The appellate court concluded that unit owners have a

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