June 2016

Construction Company Owners Defeat Breach of Implied Warranty Claims

United States - Illinois

Mirek and Alina Bim, owners of a small construction company, successfully defended against a breach of implied warranty of habitability lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who was the second owner of a $1M home Bim built in a Chicago suburb. The case reached the Illinois Supreme Court, which found that the plaintiff could not seek damages under the implied warranty of habitability, because that warranty had been waived by the initial purchaser. Faegre Baker Daniels represented Mirek and Alina Bim on a pro bono basis.

The Bims, who were sued in their individual capacity, represented themselves pro se at the initial trial and prevailed, but the Illinois appellate court reversed (without the Bims having been served with the appeal), ruling the subsequent purchaser who sued them was not bound by the initial purchaser’s waiver of implied warranties. 

A FaegreBD team successfully petitioned the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the case. The Court unanimously agreed with FaegreBD’s position, reversing the contrary decision by the lower appellate court and placing a common sense limit on the reach of the implied warranty of habitability. The team secured 15 amicus curiae parties in support. The amici included the National Association of Home Builders, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Home Builders Association of Illinois, and the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. 
 

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