A Cook County property owner and his son are suing two former tenants over libel and slander allegations.
David Wescott Sr. and David Wescott Jr. filed suit on Sept. 10 in Cook County Circuit Court, Law Division against Terry Fisher of Long Grove and Sherry Loeber of Cook County.
According to the complaint, Fisher and Loeber leased a commercial property from David Sr. at 99 Kazimour Drive, Unit B, Port Barrington, which they used for the location of the bar and restaurant Pier 99. The restaurant is located in a marina and is part of a building which also houses the Port Barrington Motor Sports, the latter of which employs David Jr., who has special needs due to limited cognitive functioning.
In or around September 2013, the defendants allegedly began sending checks with non-sufficient funds and were falling behind on their rent due on the lease for their business by November. On Jan. 10, 2014, David Sr. sent the defendants a 10-day notice demanding that the rent be made current. It was, but the defendants allegedly fell behind again in July 2014 and eviction actions were put in motion, the complaint states.
The complaint states that on or about Nov. 14, 2014, Fisher allegedly told a patron that his sole goal was to cause as much financial harm to Dave Sr. as possible. He subsequently allegedly removed various items from the premises that were not his to sell for cash, including a stove.
Further, Loeber allegedly posted a photo on her Facebook page, claiming that David Jr had left a "substance" on the wall, which she alleged was from his masturbating in their ladies' bathroom in an alleged attempt to damage the reputation of any business that David Sr. might open in the location, which was allegedly sent to any number of people who knew both David Sr. and David Jr.
The plaintiffs consider these claims to be defamatory and false, and with the intent to cause David Jr. severe emotional and psychological harm, as well as to inflict emotional damage to David Sr.
The substance was tested and proved to not be David Jr.'s, nor was there any security video evidence that David Jr. ever entered the ladies' bathroom on the premises at any time.
As such, these allegations were malicious and intended to harm the reputation of David Sr. and David Jr. and to attempt to assure that there would be a long lead time in any business re-opening on the premises.
The plaintiffs are suing for libel and slander; injunctive relief to prevent further such libel and slander, particularly in regard to anyone the plaintiffs might do business with in the present or future; and tortious interference with economic expectancy for selling items that weren't theirs to sell, slanderous posting on Facebook, and intentional moves to make reopening as difficult as possible for the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs seek punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the court, as well as any other further relief as they see fit, including but not limited to court costs and attorney fees.
The plaintiffs are represented by Lawrence W. Byrne of Pedersen & Houpt of Chicago.
Cook County Circuit Court, Law Division case number 2015-L-009270.