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Court Denies Tenant’s COVID Related Defenses in Sweeping Ruling

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In Brixmor SPE 5, LLC v. Fitness International, LLC, No. 2021-000103, (Ill. Circ. Ct., July 7, 2021), Landlord filed suit seeking the payment of rent from Fitness International, LLC, a national fitness chain. The fitness company denied that it owed the rent during the pandemic alleging that the Illinois Executive Orders restricting the gym from operating during the pandemic excused the gym’s obligation to pay rent because, among other reasons, the executive orders were force majeure events, frustrated the purpose of the lease between the parties and violated the tenant’s right to the quiet enjoyment of the property. On July 6, 2021, relying on the language of the lease and long-standing Illinois Supreme Court precedent, the trial court dismissed all of the tenant’s defenses to the obligation to the payment of rent with prejudice. The full ruling by the Court can be accessed here: Brixmor SPE 5, LLC v. Fitness International, LLC.

Barack Ferrazzano Litigation Group Chair Roger H. Stetson and David B. Lurie represented the Landlord in the case.

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