Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis Ltd. | A Chicago Civil Litigation Law Firm | <strong >Lipe Lyons Appellate Victory</strong >
This links to the home page

Lipe Lyons Appellate Victory

December 12, 2013
On November 25, 2013 the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed a jury verdict in favor of the defendant represented by Lipe Lyons in the case of Unitrin Preferred Insurance Company as subrogee of Emin & Annalisa Tuluce v. Falviu George Dobra d/b/a FGD Construction (Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division, No. 08 L 012772).  The plaintiff claimed $ 929,677  in damages for amounts paid to the owners of a residence in Barrington, Illinois that was damaged by a  fire. The plaintiffs’ experts contended that the fire started because the defendant, a floor finishing contractor, allowed floor varnish to leak through floor vent openings into the basement where the vapors were ignited by a pilot light which the defendant had failed to extinguish.  The defense experts contended that the fire did not start in the basement by ignition of flammable vapors but started in the first floor kitchen as a result of an electrical fault in the television set.  The Plaintiff appealed from the denial of their motion for a new trial asserting that the trial court erred in admitting the testimony of one of the defense experts, Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, a fire scientist and fire protection engineer. The Appellate Court held that Dr. Mowrer was qualified to offer expert opinions  because of his education, research, training and scientific study of fire science and fire protection engineering. The Court  also found that Dr. Mowrer’ s testimony did not improperly usurp the role of the jury but that it fell “squarely within the parameters of expert testimony by aiding the jury in a matter an ordinary citizen would be unfamiliar with.”