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03/24/87 Lori Rowe, v. State Bank of Lombard

March 24, 1987

LORI ROWE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

STATE BANK OF LOMBARD, AS TRUSTEE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES; -- LINDA JEAN SERPICO ET AL., MINORS BY THEIR FATHER, ANDREW SERPICO, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

TODD FENNESSEY



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

et al., Defendants-Appellees

505 N.E.2d 1380, 153 Ill. App. 3d 788, 106 Ill. Dec. 589 1987.IL.360

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. William E. Black, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Justice Inglis delivered the opinion of the court. Lindberg, P.J., and Nash, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE INGLIS

Plaintiff, Lori Rowe, sought damages for personal injuries in her negligence action against defendants. Plaintiffs, Linda Serpico and Andrea Serpico, minors, by their father, Andrew Serpico, and Andrew Serpico individually and as administrator of the estate of Bonnie Lee Ann Serpico, commenced an action in the trial court for negligence under the Wrongful Death Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 70, par. 1 et seq.) and Probate Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110 1/2, par. 1-1 et seq.) for damages resulting from the death of Bonnie Lee Ann Serpico, Andrew Serpico's late wife and the minors' mother. Their action, which was based on substantially the same theories of liability as were advanced by Lori Rowe, was consolidated in the trial court. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of certain defendants, and this appeal has been brought to obtain reversal of these judgments. We affirm.

On April 24, 1978, at approximately 4 a.m., Bonnie Lee Ann Serpico (Bonnie) and Lori Rowe (Lori) were working the midnight to 8 a.m. shift at the offices of J-Mar Enterprises (J-Mar) in building number 1 of the Glen Hill Office Park , located at 799 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. These offices were leased from the Paramount Group (Paramount). That night, James Free, Jr. (Free), gained entrance to an office through an allegedly locked door to the room in which Bonnie and Lori were working. He was wearing a mask and holding a gun.

Bonnie attempted to run for help, but was shot in the back and died. Free then entered another room where he bound Lori, shot her, left her for dead, and fled. Lori crawled to a telephone and called the Glen Ellyn police. When the first police officer arrived on the scene, he kicked and broke down the door through which Free gained entry in order to obtain entry to the office and render assistance to Lori. Bonnie's minor daughters, husband, and estate filed an action for wrongful death. Their amended complaint consisted of nine counts. Lori's action was only for her personal injuries.

Counts I, II, and III are not involved in this appeal.

Count IV sought damages against Paramount and Todd Fennessey (Fennessey), individually and as agent for the owners, operators, and managers of GHOP who controlled building number 1 and were responsible for its security, maintenance, condition, and repair. That count alleged that the premises were not reasonably safe because, inter alia, the defendants voluntarily undertook and provided certain security measures for the benefit of its lessees and its lessees' employees yet failed to exercise reasonable care in the performance of said undertakings. They were guilty of: (a) negligently failing to provide adequate locks on the doors to the office; (b) negligently failing to change the locks on the doors to the office in the above-described premises when new tenants occupied said office; (c) changing and re-keying the locks on the doors to the office when they knew or should have known that these locks could be opened by persons who had access to, or had otherwise obtained, master keys to the locks; (d) negligently failing to secure keys from old tenants of the office; (e) negligently failing to maintain and control a list of all persons having possession of master keys; (f) negligently maintaining operational procedures which allowed unauthorized persons or other members of the general public to obtain or make copies of master keys; (g) negligently failing to control the number and allocation of master keys; (h) negligently failing to modify the lock and master key system maintained upon the premises when they knew or should have known that said system was unsafe; (i) negligently failing to install materials and other lock parts which would render unaccounted master keys inoperative; (j) negligently failing to provide sufficient and/or adequate security personnel for the above-described premises; (k) negligently failing to provide an alarm system or adequate alarm system for the premises; and (l) negligently failing to provide adequate protection for the decedent when they knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known, that the decedent and other females were present upon the premises after normal working hours. Plaintiffs further alleged that as a direct and proximate result of one or more of the aforesaid negligent acts or omissions, defendant James P. Free, Jr., gained admittance to the office in the premises, shot and killed the decedent on April 24, 1978.

Count V was against the same parties. In this count plaintiffs further alleged, inter alia, that on the aforesaid date and place and prior thereto one or more or all of the following circumstances were known to the defendants: (a) that a person or persons had entered and gained access to locations supposedly secured by locked doors in buildings upon its premises; (b) that one person who had gained unauthorized entry to a GHOP building had attempted to entice women; (c) that recommendations by defendants' employees were made to change keys and locks to the existing doors; and (d) that prior crimes had been committed upon the defendants' premises.

Counts VII and VIII were actions brought against Fennessey and Paramount for damages including pain, suffering, and mental anguish and funeral expenses under section 27-6 of the Probate Act of 1975 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110 1/2, par. 27-6). Counts VI and IX were brought against J-Mar, Bonnie's employer. Since summary judgment was denied as to them, these counts are not involved in this appeal.

An action was also brought against Leland Stahelin, the developer and prior owner of GHOP, and others, on substantially the same grounds as originally pleaded against Fennessey and ...


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