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St. Joseph Hospital v. Corbetta Construction Co.

Illinois Appellate Court
316 N.E.2d 51 (1974)


St. Joseph Hospital (Hospital) hired Corbetta Construction Company, Inc. (Corbetta) to build a new hospital in Chicago. Corbetta subcontracted with General Electric Company (GE) (defendant) to install wall paneling that was manufactured by GE. GE had the wall paneling tested for flammability at a third-party laboratory. The paneling’s flame spread was calculated at 255, or approximately 17 times the maximum flammability allowed under the Chicago Building Code. The laboratory did not give the paneling an official flame-spread rating, because according to the laboratory, any product with a flame spread in excess of 200 was too dangerous to be used. GE told Corbetta only that the wall paneling did not have a flame-spread rating. When the construction of the hospital was substantially complete, the City of Chicago denied the Hospital’s license to operate the hospital on account of the flammability of the wall paneling that GE had installed. The Hospital brought suit against GE for fraud, seeking to recover the loss resulting from the city’s decision. A jury found in favor of the Hospital. GE appealed.

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