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05/19/88 the People Ex Rel. Neil F. v. All American Aluminum and

May 19, 1988

THE PEOPLE EX REL. NEIL F. HARTIGAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

ALL AMERICAN ALUMINUM AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



Before determining the sufficiency of the complaint, we must first address a matter of jurisdiction. Defendants claim that Edelson and Reid, both individually and in their capacities as corporate officers of All American, are not proper parties to the litigation. Defendants contend that the Attorney General never obtained leave of court to add them as defendants; additionally, no appearances were filed on their behalf. Defendants argue, therefore, that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over Edelson and Reid.

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

524 N.E.2d 1067, 171 Ill. App. 3d 27, 121 Ill. Dec. 19 1988.IL.789

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Robert L. Sklowdowski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. JOHNSON and McMORROW, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Plaintiff, the Attorney General of Illinois, brought an action in the circuit court of Cook County against defendants, the All American Aluminum and Construction Company, Inc., Steven Edelson, individually and as vice-president of All American, and Suzanne Reid, individually and as assistant secretary of the corporation. The Attorney General charged defendants with violating the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (Consumer Fraud Act or Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 121 1/2, par. 261 et seq.). The trial court dismissed the Attorney General's third amended complaint with prejudice, ruling that it failed to state a cause of action. The Attorney General appeals, contending that the trial court erred in dismissing the complaint.

We reverse the order of the trial court and remand.

Background

In determining whether to allow a motion to dismiss, a court must take all well-pled allegations of fact contained in the complaint, and contained in any attached exhibits incorporated into the complaint, as true, and construe all reasonable inferences therefrom in the plaintiff's favor. (Business Development Services, Inc. v. Field Container Corp. (1981), 96 Ill. App. 3d 834, 836, 422 N.E.2d 86, 89.) Here, the third amended complaint alleged that defendants were in the business of providing home remodeling and repair services to Illinois consumers. Defendant Edelson was vice-president and principal owner of All American, and defendant Reid was assistant secretary of the company. In their corporate capacities, they managed, controlled, directed and condoned the business practices of the company. All American involuntarily dissolved on February 2, 1987.

The amended complaint further alleged that the defendants would enter into a contract with a customer for the performance of services in consideration for specified cash payments. The contract warranted that the materials used were of standard quality, guaranteed the workmanship, and also warranted that defendants would remedy substantial defects on written notice for one year after the date of substantial completion. Beyond the contractual guarantee, defendants orally represented to consumers that it would perform the services in a reasonable and workmanlike manner.

The amended complaint went on to allege four separate instances where defendants essentially performed negligent work in violation of the contract and then disregarded their warranties of remedying defects. Specifically, the Attorney General alleged that defendants contracted with Michael Davis to install doors and windows in his home for $2,490, which Davis paid in full. However, the doors did not fit the door frames and the windows had no caulking. Despite Davis' demands to cure the defects, defendants neither cured the defects nor refunded the money paid. Further, Davis was forced to pay an additional $800 to another home remodeling company to remedy the defects.

Also, defendants were charged with having contracted with Patricia Griggs to install a shower, toilet, vanity, and floor and wall tiles in her home for $3,500, of which she paid $1,000. Defendants tore down her bathroom walls, disconnected her plumbing and ripped up her bathroom tiles. Defendants, however, refused to install the vanity, floor, and toilet, despite Griggs' many requests to do so. She ultimately paid another company to complete the job.

Additionally, defendants contracted with Mr. and Mrs. Ollie Davis to install a new roof, gutters, and aluminum siding for $5,000, which the Davises paid in full. Because of defendants' negligent work, however, water leakage from heavy rainfall entered their home and caused extensive damage. Mr. and Mrs. Davis ...


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