Condo association told to pay elevator company despite ‘numerous outages’
Loop North News

CONDOMINIUM LIFESTYLE 300 N State St - MAP

(Above) Elevator lobby on lower level of Marina City’s west tower. Click on image to view larger version.

5-Feb-18 – Elevators may have been out of order too many times and for too long for the customer’s liking, but a Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of an elevator company that sued a condominium association for cancelling its maintenance contract.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation, with offices worldwide, including one in the Loop, had a contract with Marina Towers Condominium Association to maintain eleven elevators – ten passenger elevators and one freight elevator – from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016, in exchange for $8,000 per month.

Frustrated with elevators breaking down and repairs taking too long, the condo association took its business elsewhere, but ThyssenKrupp said their agreement was not properly cancelled and they were owed for lost profit and for a year-old invoice they say the condo association refused to pay.

Steven Rouse Their contract complaint was filed on May 9, 2016. MTCA filed a counter-claim on August 16, 2016. The case was then referred for mandatory arbitration, scheduled for December 16, 2016. On December 19, arbitrators awarded ThyssenKrupp full recovery of damages and dismissal of MTCA’s counter-claim, according to Steven Rouse (left) of Molzahn, Reed, Rouse & Berger, LLC, the law firm that represented ThyssenKrupp.

MTCA rejected the decision of the arbitrator but fared no better in a bench trial on January 29, with Circuit Judge Margaret Brennan making the same decision.

The condo association will have to pay at least $32,427.92. In her ruling on January 31, Brennan said ThyssenKrupp could amend the judgment to include arbitration fees.

Problems, yes, but fixed promptly, says ThyssenKrupp

If there were complaints, ThyssenKrupp’s contract with MTCA said the company had 60 days to resolve them but after that, MTCA could terminate the agreement with 30 days’ notice. ThyssenKrupp says it performed all its obligations under the agreement and corrected alleged deficiencies within 60 days.

When MTCA terminated the agreement on February 15, 2016, ThyssenKrupp says it was ten and a half months early.

In addition to lost profit of $31,727, ThyssenKrupp said it was owed $700 for a service call on December 1, 2015, that required an engineer and assistant to work overtime, an additional cost that was passed on to MTCA. An invoice dated December 14, 2015, says workers removed a roller guide assembly from a broken elevator, installed a new one, tested it, and put the elevator back in service. The invoice, sent to the attention of David Gantt, residential property manager at the time, has a handwritten note in the upper right corner that reads, “Do not pay.”

At its meeting on January 21, 2016, the condo board at Marina City approved a new maintenance contract with Suburban Elevator Company, based in East Dundee, Illinois, about 40 miles northwest of Chicago.

“The board and management has been fully aware of and has fully shared the frustrations experienced with the numerous elevator outages,” wrote Ellen Chessick (right), then president of MTCA, to unit owners and residents in February. “When it became apparent that despite our efforts, ThyssenKrupp was not meeting our requirements, we had to go through the steps legally required per the service contract and to end the relationship.” Ellen Chessick

MTCA was represented by Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, based in the northern suburb of Mundelein.

 Previous story: Jilted elevator company suing condo association over terminated maintenance contract

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 5-Feb-18 11:50 PM

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