APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION
532 N.E.2d 405, 177 Ill. App. 3d 331, 126 Ill. Dec. 720 1988.IL.1809
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. David Shields, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE JOHNSON delivered the opinion of the court. McMORROW and LINN, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE JOHNSON
This is an appeal from an order of the circuit court of Cook County confirming an arbitration award to plaintiff, Braun/Skiba, Ltd., an Illinois corporation. Judgment was entered for plaintiff in the amount of $76,089.32, which included prejudgment interest, and against defendant, Orchard Partnership. The sole issue presented for review is whether the arbitration award should be vacated because the arbitrators unfairly interpreted the agreement entered into by the parties.
On October 1, 1984, the parties entered into an agreement under which plaintiff was to provide architectural services to defendant for the design of an office building located in Skokie, Illinois. The agreement provided that plaintiff's compensation was to be 6% of construction costs, less a $67,500 credit.
The credit was allowed because the design plans that defendant was to follow had already been drafted and used by one of plaintiff's previous clients. Plaintiff had been paid $67,500 by that client. According to plaintiff, the credit was meant to account for design work that would not have to be done for defendant.
The parties' agreement with respect to the credit provided:
"The compensation for architectural services previously paid under Commission Number 8136 in amount of Sixty Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($67,500.00) shall be credited to the total compensation due at completion of the Bidding or Negotiation Phase as applicable to the Schematic Design Phase, Design Development Phase and Construction Documents Phase."
The record reveals that on December 1, 1984, plaintiff sent defendant an invoice showing a credit of $53,100, a $14,400 reduction from the original $67,500 credit. The amount due from the invoice was $25,020. One of defendant's principal partners, an accountant and primarily responsible for paying defendant's bills, paid $20,000 of the outstanding amount without question.
Plaintiff's second invoice was sent January 1, 1985, showing a credit reduction from the previous invoice of $16,797; defendant paid $26,500. The third invoice was sent February 1, 1985, reducing the credit to $25,193. A fourth invoice was sent March 1, 1985, which did not reflect a change in the credit from the previous month. On April 1, 1985, an invoice for the unpaid balance was sent. Between April 1, 1985, and May 1, 1985, defendant paid the entire balance which showed that the credit had been reduced to $25,193. The invoice sent May 1, 1985, showed a further reduction, leaving a remaining credit of $7,029.
Plaintiff testified at the April 28, 1986, hearing that the credit was reduced to compensate for the revisions, requested by the defendant, in the initial plan. These revisions were extensive. New evaluation costs were required ...