377 N.E.2d 237 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1978), 76-939, Talandis Const. Corp. v. Illinois Bldg. Authority

Docket Nº:76-939.
Citation:377 N.E.2d 237, 60 Ill.App.3d 715, 18 Ill.Dec. 84
Party Name:TALANDIS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellee, Cross-Appellant, v. ILLINOIS BUILDING AUTHORITY, Defendant-Appellant, Cross-Appellee.
Case Date:May 23, 1978
Court:Court of Appeals of Illinois

Page 237

377 N.E.2d 237 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1978)

60 Ill.App.3d 715, 18 Ill.Dec. 84

TALANDIS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellee, Cross-Appellant,


ILLINOIS BUILDING AUTHORITY, Defendant-Appellant, Cross-Appellee.

No. 76-939.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division.

May 23, 1978.

Rehearing Denied June 26, 1978.

Page 238

[60 Ill.App.3d 716] [18 Ill.Dec. 85] Dennis M. O'Brien, Chicago (Schippers, Betar, Lamendella & O'Brien, Chicago, of counsel), for defendant-appellant, cross-appellee.

John A. Cook, Charles A. Gilmartin, Chicago (Quinn, Jacobs & Barry and Gilmartin, Wisner & Hallenbeck, Ltd., Chicago, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee, cross-appellant.

DOWNING, Justice.

On August 13, 1971, plaintiff, Talandis Construction Corporation (Talandis), filed an accounting action for money owing from a public bid construction contract. Following a bench trial, the court entered a decree and judgment order assessing damages against defendant, Illinois Building Authority (IBA), in the amount of $437,841.81. IBA appealed therefrom after the denial of its post-trial motion to set aside the decree and judgment order or for a new trial. IBA contends that the court erred by rewriting the parties' contract and by awarding damages based upon the "total job cost" theory. In its cross-appeal Talandis contends that the court erred by failing to allow overhead and profit on all of its direct costs.

After oral argument of this cause, IBA moved to file additional authority relating to the jurisdiction of the trial court. IBA maintained that the trial court was without jurisdiction and that the decree-judgment order entered by the trial court was a nullity. Therefore, IBA concluded that the order must be vacated and the cause remanded to the trial court with directions to transfer the cause to the Illinois Court of Claims. In its response to said motion Talandis argued that IBA had supplied no reasoning or analysis in support of the extraordinary relief requested and that it was without foundation. We disagree and find it unnecessary to comment on the merit of the issues raised for our review.

The evidence purported to show that, after competitive public bidding, Talandis was

Page 239

[18 Ill.Dec. 86] awarded a contract to construct a Small Animal Clinic Complex for the Champaign-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois. IBA and Talandis entered into a two-year time contract on January 24, 1968, which required Talandis to use the Critical Path Method [60 Ill.App.3d 717] or Network of establishing the dates for the start and completion of the essential components of the work. At trial Talandis allegedly proved that sometime prior to August 16, 1968, IBA, through its architect and others, so disrupted and discoordinated an important portion of the on-going construction that it materially breached its contract. Talandis contended that the contract as completed was not the contract it had undertaken to perform. At the completion of a complex trial, the court entered judgment for Talandis; and the appeal and cross-appeal followed.


Article IV, section 26 of the 1870 Illinois Constitution provided that "(t)he state of Illinois shall never be made defendant in any court of law or equity." (Ill.Const.1870, art. IV, § 26.) Pursuant to that provision, claims against the state were required to be brought under the Court of Claims Act. (Ill.Const.1970, art. XIII, § 4 (Const. Commentary), citing Ill.Rev.Stat.1969, ch. 37, pars. 439.1 et seq.) The question as to whether or not a particular state agency came within the old constitutional prohibition from suit could not be decided by applying a convenient rule of thumb, but, for the most part, each case had to be resolved by individual judicial determination. (F. Spiegel, The Illinois Court of Claims: A Study of State Liability 69 (1962).) The 1970 Illinois Constitution provides that "(e)xcept as the General Assembly may provide by law, sovereign immunity in this State is abolished." (Ill.Const.1970, art. XIII, § 4.) Moreover, effective January 1, 1972, the State of Illinois may not be made a defendant or party in any court, except as provided in the Court of Claims Act. Ill.Rev.Stat.1972, ch. 127, par. 801.

The Illinois Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine certain enumerated matters, including "all claims against the State founded...

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