Appeal Doomed For Lack Of Trial Court Transcript

Fritz Redelmann was a custodian for the Rolling Meadows Park District. He sued the Park District and a number of chemical and product manufacturers, claiming that he sustained neurological problems from exposure to their products while he was on the job.

After Redelmann filed an eighth amended complaint, three of the manufacturers filed a bill of particulars to determine when, where, and how plaintiff was exposed to their products. Redelmann did not respond to two bills of particulars, and his response to the third was inadequate. The manufacturers moved for sanctions. The trial court granted the sanctions motions, and struck certain of the counts and allegations in the eighth amended complaint. Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration was denied, and the trial court permitted an interlocutory appeal.

The First District Illinois Appellate Court affirmed. One of the procedural issues concerned Redelmann’s failure to submit a sufficient record for the appellate court to assess. “Plaintiff’s failure to provide the reports of proceedings is fatal to the plaintiff’s claim because ‘to support a claim of error, the appellant has the burden to present a sufficiently complete record.’ … ‘Any doubts which may arise from the incompleteness of the record will be resolved against the appellant.’ … ‘Without an adequate record preserving the claimed error, the reviewing court must presume the circuit court had a sufficient factual basis for its holding and that its order conforms with the law.’ … Therefore, ‘[w]here the issue on appeal relates to the conduct of a hearing or proceeding, this issue is not subject to review absent a report or record of the proceeding.’ … Accordingly, without the reports of proceedings to review, we are unable to find that the trial court abused its discretion when it exercised its inherent authority and sanctioned the plaintiff, pursuant to Rule 219(c), by dismissing the counts in the eighth amended complaint …”

The whole case, Redelmann v. K. A. Steel Chemicals, No. 1-06-2371 (11/29/07), is available by clicking here.