On January 14, 2010, plaintiff-appellee Sean Jordan (Sean) filed a personal injury and property damage lawsuit in the circuit court of Cook County against defendant-appellant Hasib Bangloria (Hasib), as a result of an automobile accident that occurred on January 16, 2009. On January 27, 2010 Parrillo, Weiss & O'Halloran (defense counsel), filed their appearance and a jury demand on behalf of Hasib. Around February 4, 2010, Sean served Hasib, through Parrillo, Weiss & O'Halloran, with a request to admit facts. On March 2, 2010, Hasib served Sean with written objections to the request to admit. On March 30, 2010, the trial court entered an order closing discovery as of April 30, 2010, and transferred the case to the mandatory arbitration calendar. On April 9, 2010, Sean filed a motion requesting the trial court to overrule Hasib's objections to his request to admit. On May 3, 2010, Sean served Parrillo, Weiss & O'Halloran with Supreme Court Rule 90 documents, relating to the conduct of the mandatory arbitration hearing. A June 2, 2010 order overruled Hasib's objections, ordered Hasib to respond, and indicated that an arbitration hearing set for June 9, 2010 would stand. Prior to the June 2, 2010, order, there is nothing in the record that would indicate Hasib received any notice of the arbitration hearing date. In a separate order that day, Hasib was ordered to appear for a deposition prior to June 9, 2010. The order further indicated that the arbitration hearing was set for June 9, 2010. At that time, the plaintiff's attorneys were advised that the defense firm, Parrillo, Weiss & O'Halloran, had first located Hasib within the "last few days."
Hasib never appeared for his deposition, nor did he appear for the arbitration hearing in response to Sean’s notice to appear. On June 9, 2010, an arbitration hearing was held and defense counsel was present. An award of damages was entered in favor of Sean and against Hasib in the amount of $5,000 with no costs. The arbitrators did not make a finding that Hasib and defense counsel failed to participate in good faith. On June 23, 2010, Hasib filed a rejection of the award. On July 21, 2010, Sean filed a motion to "quash rejection of arbitration award." The motion also sought the assessment of attorney fees against defense counsel for bad faith in failing to produce Hasib at the arbitration hearing pursuant to Sean's notice to produce, for Hasib’s failure to appear for the deposition, and for Hasib's frivolous objections to Sean’s request to admit. Sean also filed a separate motion for assessment of attorney fees under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137, claiming that Hasib’s objections to the request to admit were frivolous. On September 2, 2010, the trial court granted Sean’s motion to bar the rejection of the arbitration award, entered judgment on the award, and assessed the sum of $3,375 for attorney fees against Hasib and defense counsel. The trial court found that defense counsel did not participate in good faith "in connection with and at the arbitration hearing, prior thereto, and thereafter." The trial court also assessed $3,175 in attorney fees under Supreme Court Rule 137 against defense counsel only, finding that the objections to Sean’s request to admit were "frivolous."
Judge(s): Joy V. Cunningham
Jurisdiction: Illinois Court of Appeals, First District
Related Categories: ADR , Torts
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