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05/25/94 JOHN GROVE AND KAREN GROVE v. CURTIS

May 25, 1994

JOHN GROVE AND KAREN GROVE, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,
v.
CURTIS HUFFMAN, D/B/A/ HUFFMAN CONSTRUCTION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND BARBARA HUFFMAN, DEFENDANT, AND CURTIS HUFFMAN AND BARBARA HUFFMAN, D/B/A HUFFMAN CONSTRUCTION, THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS, V. DEAN LIGGETT, D/B/A LIGGETT PLUMBING & HEATING, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Vermilion County. No. 90L169. Honorable Rita B. Garman, Judge Presiding.

As Corrected May 27, 1994.

Honorable John T. McCULLOUGH, P.j., Honorable James A. Knecht, J., Honorable Carl A. Lund, J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccullough

PRESIDING JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court:

This is an appeal by defendant Curtis Huffman, d/b/a Huffman Construction, from a judgment of the circuit court of Vermilion County entered in favor of plaintiffs John and Karen Grove. Prior to trial, plaintiffs conceded the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of defendant Barbara Huffman, which motion was based on the fact that Barbara was not engaged in her husband's business. The case arose from a dispute involving the construction of plaintiffs' house by defendant. No issue is raised in this appeal concerning the third-party action.

Plaintiffs' amended complaint against defendants Curtis and Barbara Huffman was framed in three counts, count I for breach of an implied warranty of habitability, count II for rescission of the contract, and count III was a claim under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 121 1/2, par. 261 et seq.). Defendants filed a third-party complaint against Dean Liggett, d/b/a Liggett Plumbing & Heating. The first-amended third-party complaint was framed in two counts. Count I was based on a theory of breach of contract and count II was a consumer fraud action under the Act.

Defendants Curtis and Barbara Huffman, d/b/a Huffman Construction Company, filed motions to strike the jury demands in counts II and III of plaintiffs' amended complaint, to sever those actions, and for a bifurcated trial. After considering the motion and arguments of counsel, the trial court agreed to try the breach of implied warranty issue in a jury trial, and when the jury was sent out for deliberation, to continue with a bench trial on the other counts.

Following a jury trial, the jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs and against defendant in the total amount of $34,859.69. The verdict form itemized the damages as follows:

"A. The cost of repairing or replacing portions of the GROVE home and personal property damaged by flooding;

$16,669.69

B. The cost of repairs to remedy defects in construction;

$12,190.00

C. The cost of designing and installing an adequate drainage system for the home;

$-0-

d. Loss of use of ...


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