Story at Chicago Tribune
|Northlake officials have filed suit against companies that built its police station. Police shown outside police station. (Northlake website)|
8:53 PM CDT, September 3, 2013
A western suburb is suing the companies that built its police station, saying the "poorly designed and installed" structure has flooded three times since completion in 2009 and is defective.
Northlake, a city of about 12,300 near O'Hare International Airport, alleges in the suit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court that its police headquarters is in need of repairs because of construction and design flaws.
According to the lawsuit, the building first flooded around July 2010, when more than eight inches of sanitary and storm water entered the building's lower level — home to a gun range, locker rooms, an evidence room and document storage — and there was about two inches of water on the first floor.
Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin said valves were replaced after that flood and that the city had prepared to move on.
But the building flooded again in 2011 and for a third time this spring, according to the suit, which also alleges the roof is leaky.
"A building that's flooded three times in three years is kind of extreme," the mayor said.
Twice, Sherwin said, the city had to replace carpeting and cut out drywall. He wasn't immediately able to say how much Northlake had spent cleaning up and rebuilding after the floods, but said he believed additional repairs are needed.
The floods disrupted police service and caused the loss of equipment and personal property, according to the lawsuit.
Sherwin said attempts to reach a financial settlement with the architecture and construction firms had stalled. The civil filing asks four defendants, FGM Architects, Camosy Construction, MG Mechanical and Sweeney Construction, for more than $75,000 each in damages.
Tim Drewry, vice president of construction services at Camosy, said he hadn't seen the lawsuit as of Tuesday evening.
"We have a stellar reputation in the construction community and we value our clients very highly," he said.
Officials at FGM and MG Mechanical couldn't immediately be reached.
Sherwin said the new police building was a point of civic pride that was sorely needed.
"It's frustrating because it was a long time coming," he said. "Everyone's proud of the building and how long it took to build it and get it done. Then to have this happen is just kind of disappointing."