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Tiffany and Rein Obtain Summary Judgement in $92 Million Construction Case

Aleen Tiffany and Jamie Rein recently secured summary judgment in a Northwest Indiana suit seeking $92 million in property and lost profit damages against a number of construction contractors and engineering firms. The suit arose out of the collapse of a stacker reclaimer in 2014, and dismissal was secured on behalf of the electrical contractor who had performed work on the stacker as part of a rehabilitation/upgrade project years earlier.

In March 2014, the stacker “crane” arm rose uncontrollably, past all upper limit controls, ultimately collapsing in upon itself. Plaintiff alleged the collapse was due to improper design and electrical wiring/schematics. The court granted summary judgment, agreeing with the arguments and evidence that all wiring had been done properly and per plans and specifications. The court also found that the electrical contractor had no obligation for design or design analysis. Tiffany and Rein successfully secured critical admissions from key project and plant personnel under very challenging circumstances involving extensive documentation (150,000+ pages) dating from the mid to late 1990s—before electronic discovery capabilities and exchanges were used.

Tiffany, a partner, and Rein, an associate, are part of the firm’s Crystal Lake office. Both focus their practices on the defense of multi-party commercial construction litigation, commercial liability coverage, and construction contract risk and transfer. Tiffany is a past President of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC) and has served multiple times as Chair of IDCs Construction Law Committee. She has also been recognized multiple times as an Illinois Super Lawyer and an Illinois Leading Lawyer. Rein is member of the Construction Law Committee of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC) and is past President of the McHenry County Bar Association. She is a prior recipient of the Best Under 40 Award for McHenry County.


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