CHICAGO — For now, it appears that Peter and Holly Geraci have struck out again in their attempts to sue over incidents in their former condo building, as a jury has ordered Holly Geraci has been ordered to pay the woman she accused of assaulting her in an elevator.
A Cook County Circuit Court jury in July found in favor of Robin Di Buono, who claimed Holly Geraci assaulted her in an elevator in the Union Square Condominiums building in August 2013. Geraci claimed Di Buono was the one who attacked her, leaving the jury to decide whose story was accurate.
The jury’s verdict, which ordered Geraci pay Di Buono $275,000 in damages, followed a three-day trial that marked the end of a years-long court battle for the two parties.
Tom Bilyk, Di Buono’s attorney, told the Cook County Record that his client agreed to settle the case for an apology, but Geraci refused and continued pushing for a civil trial.
“It’s an unbelievable relief for my client and myself that someone could actually see through the lies that Holly Geraci had been telling and vindicate my client,” Bilyk said.
Geraci's attempt to tell the jury her side of the story included an unusual prop: The trial included a life-size elevator that was brought into the courtroom to simulate the incident between Geraci and Di Buono.
Bilyk said the elevator was one of the most surprising things he’s seen in 34 years of practicing law, but added that it did not seem to make an impact on the final outcome.
This is not the first allegation of problems between the Geracis and their neighbors in the Union Square Condominiums, located at 333 W. Hubbard St. in Chicago. Last year, Holly Geraci sued the condo association, alleging that it was behind a plot to terrorize her by forcing her to ride in her building’s elevators with hostile dog-owning neighbors and their dog walkers.
In 2014, Peter Geraci, a well-known bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, sued the condo association to force them to repair a wall on the roof so the Geracis could repair their condo’s rooftop deck.
Those actions caused judges to criticize the couple for bringing lawsuits that were "palpable nonsense" against the condo association that runs their building.
Jonathan Parker, the Geracis' attorney, told the Cook County Record in an emailed statement that he expects to file an appeal in the Di Buono case.
"Mrs. Geraci was brutally attacked in an elevator in her own building,” the statement read. "The adverse judgment was the result of numerous erroneous rulings by the trial court, and misconduct by the opposing attorney.”
Bilyk said he and his client are also bracing for an appeal.