October 2010

Q&H Obtains Dismissal of Landlords' Suit Against Village

In September 2010, Chicago shareholders Brandon Lemley and Mike Stillman obtained the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a pair of landlords against a south suburban village and several village officials.

The landlords filed the lawsuit in February after a long public feud with the village over their apartment complex's condition. In the suit, which sought more than $700,000 in damages, the landlords alleged that village officials made derogatory comments about their apartment complex, fabricated code violations and conspired to damage their reputations. Also named as a defendant was the village's building code officer. Village officials countered that they were simply concerned about infractions such as faulty fire alarms found at the complex.

Tensions boiled over at two village board meetings last fall, and the landlords quoted the village officials' comments at those meetings in the complaint to support their claim that they were defamed. Nevertheless, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the motion to dismiss prepared by Brandon and Michael and dismissed the entire suit based on various defenses raised supporting that the officials' comments were privileged statements and subject to various immunities afforded to village officials' comments in public meetings. Recently, the time limit for any appeal of the dismissal expired.

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