Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Highland contractor seeks to recoup losses in Six Mile Library District litigation over elevators


By Karen Kidd | Sep 23, 2019

| morguefile - AnnieM

EDWARDSVILLE  — A Highland-based contracting company is suing one of its subcontractors, alleging poorly installed elevators were part of Six Mile Regional Library District's renovation and over which the district sued in 2016.

In its four-page breach of subcontract complaint filed Aug. 29 in Madison County Circuit Court, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors allege Custom Home Elevators of St. Louis, based in Charlack, Mo., improperly installed elevators at the library's main branch. Korte & Luitjohan argues Custom Home Elevators has failed to correct the elevator issues and is in breach of its subcontract.

The complaint stems from a September 2013 general contract between Korte & Luitjohan and Six Mile Regional Library District to renovate the library's main branch in Granite City.

In October 2013, Korte & Luitjohan entered into a subcontract with Custom Home Elevators to install two LULA elevators.

Almost three years later, the library district sued multiple companies, including Korte & Luitjohan and Custom Home Elevators, over an alleged failure to install elevators. Korte & Luitjohan mentions that litigation in its complaint.

"Six Mile Regional Library District alleged in its complaint that the elevators installed by Custom Home Elevators were defective and nonfunctional," Korte & Luitjohan's complaint alleges. "Pursuant to the subcontract, Custom Home Elevators warranted that 'its work shall be fully operational, functional, coordinated and integrated with other work on the project and shall be fit to perform its intended purpose.'"

Instead, the elevators "failed to function as intended" as they had been improperly installed "leading to problems with the functionality of those elevators," the complaint said. "The library and K&L made demand on Custom Home Elevators to correct the issues with the elevators but Custom Home Elevators has failed to provide properly functioning elevators. Custom Home Elevators' failure to provide properly functioning elevators constitutes a breach of the subcontract."

Meanwhile, in May 2019, a jury found in favor of the library district against Korte & Luitjohan for breach of contract, according to the complaint. Final judgment was entered in June against Korte & Luitjohan for almost $162,000.

In its own complaint, Korte & Luitjohan seeks judgment in excess of $50,000, expenses, courts costs, damages and attorney fees "incurred as a result of Custom Home Elevators' failure to perform under the subcontract." 

Korte & Luitjohan is represented by attorney Daniel C. Lytle of HelperBroom LLC in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court Case number 2019-L-001241

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