Contractors sued for improperly using jackhammer on adjacent property

Ann Knef Feb. 28, 2007, 9:31am

State Farm Insurance is seeking more than $125,000 from two Chicago-area building contractors because an excavator improperly used a jackhammer to remove an outer wall of an adjacent property.

According to a suit filed Feb. 27 in Madison County Circuit Court, GBD Development Ltd. of Park Ridge was the general contractor for a residential construction project adjacent to a property insured by State Farm. It hired K-Construction of Wauconda for excavation and concrete work.

"While performing excavation for the construction project, Defendant K Construction improperly used a jackhammer to remove a portion of the east outer wall of the subject residence, causing substantial damage to the subject residence," the complaint states.

State Farm claims the defendants failed to take necessary safety precautions to safeguard the subject residence.

Represented by Robert W. Cockerham of Brown & James in St. Louis, State Farm filed the suit as subrogee of Rhonda Tharpe-Murtala.

The location of the incident is not named in the suit. There is no local or Illinois listing for Tharpe-Murtala, however there is such in Indianapolis.

According to the complaint, GBD Development and K-Construction conducts "substantial" business in Cook County.

The six-count suit also seeks damages for trespass and nuisance.

"The excavation work performed by defendant K-Construction (and GBD) constituted a substantial and unreasonable invasion of another's interest into the use and enjoyment of the subject residence," the complaint states.

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