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06/26/87 the Hartford Fire v. Architectural Management

June 26, 1987

THE HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY ET AL., PLAINTIFFS

v.

ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS (JACK GOLDMAN ET AL., THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS;



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

KC&M Engineers & Associates et al., Third-Party, Defendants-Appellees; Architectural

Management, Inc., et al.,

Third-Party Defendants)

511 N.E.2d 706, 158 Ill. App. 3d 515, 110 Ill. Dec. 529 1987.IL.886

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas R. Rakowski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE SULLIVAN delivered the opinion of the court. PINCHAM and MURRAY, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SULLIVAN

This appeal is from the dismissal of a third-party complaint for contribution on the ground that it was not filed within the time prescribed by law.

On December 30, 1981, an action was filed by the subrogees of a school district for damages resulting from a fire at the Oakview School in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on January 1, 1980. The complaint, which was amended on September 13, 1982, named 10 defendants, including the architects, FGM, Inc., and Jack Goldman (collectively FGM), alleging, inter alia, various acts of negligence by them in the design and construction of the school. On December 17, 1985, FGM filed a third-party complaint for contribution against the electrical engineers, KC&M Engineers and Associates, Inc., and Ronald Millies (collectively KC&M), and the mechanical engineers, Hevac Engineers, Inc. (Hevac), and William Peterson. KC&M moved to dismiss FGM's complaint on the ground that it was time barred by section 13-214(b) of the Code of Civil Procedure (the Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, par. 13-214(b)), the construction statute of repose. In addition thereto, Hevac and Peterson also moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it was not timely filed under section 94 of the Business Corporation Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 32, par. 157.94).

In support of its motion, KC&M submitted copies of the pleadings filed in a third-party action for contribution brought in October 1984 by Simplex Time Recorder Company, another of the original defendants. Among those documents were KC&M's motion to dismiss Simplex' complaint on the basis of section 13 -- 214(b), to which was attached an excerpt from the evidence deposition of John W. Moore, the State Director for the Illinois School Building Commission who was responsible for overseeing the design and construction of the school, in which Moore read from a letter he wrote to Goldman, dated July 1, 1971, stating that "the Oakview School Design Project sponsored by the Commission has reached a successful Conclusion." Also attached was the order dismissing the Simplex action on June 6, 1985. Following a hearing on May 5, 1986, the trial court granted FGM's motion to voluntarily dismiss Hevac and, upon a finding that the action was not brought within the time permitted by section 13 -- 214(b), also granted the remaining third-party defendants' motions to dismiss FGM's complaint. This appeal followed.

Opinion

Section 13 -- 214, pursuant to which the complaint was dismissed, provided in pertinent part:

"(a) Actions based upon tort, contract or otherwise against any person for an act or omission of such person in the design, planning, supervision, observation or management of construction, or construction of an improvement to real property shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the person bringing ...


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