Cook County Jury Verdict for $950,000 in Fraud and Breach of Contract Case; DaVinci Graphics v. Environomics Communications, Inc., et al.

The plaintiff, DaVinci Graphics, entered into a purchase agreement in 2009 to buy the Brownfield News magazine for $425,000.  The sellers were the defendants in this case. As part of the deal, DaVinci paid $100,000 up front with the remainder of the purchase price to be paid in installments.

After DaVinci took control of the magazine and started publication, DaVinci personnel came to believe that the magazine’s financials were not consistent with the representations made by the defendant sellers in the sales agreement. This revelation was discovered before the first installment payment was due. 

Pursuant to the contract, in the event of a dispute, DaVinci was to deposit the remaining installment payments ($325,000) into an escrow account. DaVinci then filed this lawsuit alleging fraud and breach of contract.

The defendants argued that the financials were accurate and were presented accurately and that the lawsuit was a transparent attempt by the buyer, DaVinci, to avoid paying the full sales price as agreed. Furthermore, defendants maintained that the magazine had not been as profitable as expected for the buyer in 2009, which was entirely attributable to the economic downturn that started in September 2008. Defendants also filed a counterclaim for $325,000 due under the contract, plus additional amounts owed under a separate consulting agreement. 

The combined value of the jury’s verdict was $1,275,152 to the plaintiff DaVinci, including $325,000 finding against the sellers, the defendants, on their counterclaim for the unpaid installments. The petition for attorney fees of plaintiff’s counsel in the amount of $300,000 is pending.

The attorneys for the plaintiff DaVinci Graphics were Mark Karasik and John Ebner.

DaVinci Graphics, Inc. v. Environomics Communications, Inc., National Brownfields Associations, et al., 09 L 7742 (Cook County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling business litigation for more for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Flossmoor, Highland Park, Arlington Heights, River Forest, Chicago (Bridgeport), Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Oak Forest and Park Forest, Ill.

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