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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rantoul, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    1

    Default Kitchen Cabinets Fell on a Tenant

    My question involves small claims court in the state of: Illinois

    On July 15, 2009 I moved into a rental home with my 2 boys age 4 and 1. Not even 2 month later on October 1, 2009 the kitchen cabinets in the home fell of the wall and on to me and my stove where I was cooking at the time. My 1 year old son was in the next room by the door way when the cabinets feel on my. Everything on my stove had splatted everywhere. My 1 year old son suffered 2nd degree burns. Well after my son got out of the hospital I called and let my landlord know what was going on from that point on it was nothing but harassment. I got a lawyer to sue his insurance but they are denying the claim since the landlord told them that he did not install the cabinets which he clearly told me he did. Once we moved out he filed a small claims suit against me and I wanted to know if it is possible for me to sue him for my son's injury, for emotional distress for my family. Harassment. Both of my boys have been deeply affected by this my older son did not want to go to school anymore he wanted to watch his little brother all the time. My son who was burned now acts out and I have as well as other have seen a big change in him. I signed both of my boys up to get counseling but they are on a waiting list. Can I sue him for making our lives pure hell for 11 months.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Can I Sue My Landlord

    You need to file a civil action. Due to your causes of action, you probably can't do it in small claims.

    The landlord is responsible for the cabinets, never mind who installed them. They weren't installed for you, you didn't contract to have them installed.

    How this works is that you sue the landlord. The landlord then, if he thinks the installer is responsible, has to file a cross claim against the installer. Or, in discovery, you find out who the installer is, if they won't otherwise tell you, and you add that person/company to your civil action as a defendant by amendment.

    I hope you have pictures of the cabinets, pictures of injuries and all the medical evidence ready.

    Not sure what you mean about a lawyer suing his insurance company. It DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!
    You sue the landlord, he goes to his insurance company and the insurance company decides if the policy covers it. If the policy covers the tort, the insurance company hires the policy holder an attorney and covers any award up to the policy limits. If the insurance company says the tort isn't covered, then the policy holder, ie the landlord is on his own to hire an attorney.

    It sounds like the "attorney" talked to the insurance company, but no civil case is ever filed. If there is a case it will proceed with or without the insurance company. In any case the insurance company is NOT a party and is never a party.

    You need to get some better advice and also know what the frack is actually going on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Can I Sue My Landlord

    Small claims does not address pain & suffering, so the answer is no.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Kitchen Cabinets Fell on a Tenant

    Quote Quoting Latricia Shelby
    View Post
    I got a lawyer to sue his insurance but they are denying the claim since the landlord told them that he did not install the cabinets which he clearly told me he did.
    If your lawyer in fact filed a lawsuit against your landlord and you lost, you can't file a new lawsuit merely because you didn't like the original verdict. If what you mean is that your landlord attempted to negotiate a settlement, the landlord's insurance company was unwilling to pay, and your lawyer gave up, you should still be within the statute of limitations and thus still able to pursue a legal claim. But you can expect that your landlord's insurance company will once again step in to provide him with a defense, and will again take the position that your landlord was not responsible for the incident.
    Quote Quoting Latricia Shelby
    Once we moved out he filed a small claims suit against me and I wanted to know if it is possible for me to sue him for my son's injury, for emotional distress for my family.
    Suing on behalf of a minor can be tricky, as it requires the court to appoint you as the minor's 'next friend', a person authorized to sue on his behalf. (Local terminology may vary.) Some states limit the types of damage you can recover in small claims court, but it appears that Illinois permits you to sue over tort injuries in small claims.
    Quote Quoting Latricia Shelby
    Harassment.
    You haven't told us about any harassment so we have no way of knowing if you have any sort of viable claim for harassment. I am skeptical.
    Quote Quoting Latricia Shelby
    Both of my boys have been deeply affected by this my older son did not want to go to school anymore he wanted to watch his little brother all the time. My son who was burned now acts out and I have as well as other have seen a big change in him. I signed both of my boys up to get counseling but they are on a waiting list. Can I sue him for making our lives pure hell for 11 months.
    You can sue him for whatever you want. The odds of winning are another thing entirely. So far it appears that you have no documentation or other evidence to support your contention that the landlord installed the cabinets, and you don't win a lawsuit by guessing about who is the responsible party. Also when it comes to proving damages, "I'm on a wait list to see a counselor, 18 months later", isn't evidence either of damage or that the alleged psychological issues are causally related to the injury.

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