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Illinois city dealing with unsafe hotel property

Posted on in Premises Liability

Property owners in Illinois are responsible for the safety of their property. This responsibility falls on individual homeowners, as well as large corporate owners of buildings. When unsafe conditions lead to an accident such as a slip and fall, those injured may be able to obtain compensation for any medical expenses, missed work and more. However, one city here in Illinois is not waiting for just such an accident and is taking action against a property owner.

The city of Quincy is currently confronting a limited liability company that owns a local hotel. The city says that the L.L.C. kept the building in an unsafe condition. One portion of the building actually collapsed recently after a round of storms. The city&s Department of Planning and Development issued the citation to an agent of the L.L.C., and the agent&s first appearance in court is scheduled for the end of May. As of now, a fence surrounds the dangerous part of the hotel, and blocks access to the building from the south side.

Each day that the structure goes unrepaired could mean a fine of $500. The city is also looking at the option of a court injunction for some direction on how to fix the problem. The hotel opened over 120 years ago in 1888, but has been vacant for 30 years. A few developers have attempted to renovate the building during that time, but each attempt failed.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that a potential buyer received a $500,000 loan from the city&s loan committee to buy the hotel. The loan has led to a dispute between the city and the potential buyer, and the city has even threatened foreclosure. Then the city tried to accept the deed to the hotel, but discovered an unknown lien on the property for uncompensated work.

Regardless of how the city decides to handle this situation, and regardless of who ends up with the deed to the hotel property, the current owners remain liable for any unsafe or hazardous conditions. If anyone is injured because a property owner fails to maintain the property, which appears to be an issue in this case, the injured party may be able to sue the owner. A premises liability lawsuit would allow an injured person to recover damages for any medical expenses or pain and suffering incurred.

Source: Ouincy-Herald Whiq, "Quincy cites Newcomb Hotel for unsafe conditions," Matt Hopf, May 8, 2013.

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