Laura Ricketts’ flawed $12.8M mansion results in more lawsuits

Alleged problems with house added $7M in costs; insurance company denied coverage

Cubs co-Owner Laura Ricketts’ Flawed Mansion Draws More Lawsuits

Laura Ricketts along with an aerial view of the mansion built next to Lake Michigan in Wilmette (Getty, Google Maps)

Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, is embroiled in a legal battle with her builders and their insurance company over alleged flaws in her lakefront mansion in Wilmette.

Ricketts claims that mistakes, overruns and changes by the builder, LG Construction Group, resulted in an additional $7 million in costs, on top of the anticipated total investment of $12.8 million to build the mansion, Crain’s reported

The legal dispute, initiated in 2022, has escalated with two lawsuits filed in a Chicago federal court last week. LG is suing its insurance company, Westfield, to cover potential liabilities arising from Ricketts’ case. Westfield sued simultaneously, seeking a declaration that the insurance policy had expired before Ricketts’ complaints surfaced, and arguing that it is not obligated to cover LG’s costs.

Westfield’s attorneys claim the insurance policy expired in January 2018, but LG only notified Westfield of Ricketts’ complaints in August 2019. The core argument revolves around whether Westfield is required to assist in LG’s defense against Ricketts’ complaints, given that the alleged issues occurred while the policy was in effect.

The legal proceedings were set to enter arbitration Tuesday, with LG and Westfield presenting their respective cases. Ricketts also sued the architects, Morgante Wilson, but settled that case recently.

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Ricketts’ lawsuit against LG details 1,200 alleged problems with the mansion, including a leaky roof, and poorly installed bathroom tile and skylights. Among the defects cited are inadequate paint, non-square corners, wallpaper bumps, unsanded doors, leaks and windows that do not properly close. A roofing consultant hired by the architects identified improperly installed ice and water shield, incorrectly pitched gutters, inadequate flashing and other structural concerns, the outlet reported. 

Ricketts began planning her Sheridan Road mansion in 2010 after acquiring the 1.2-acre parcel for $6.5 million. The project, aimed to take advantage of the site’s lakeward slope, features a six-bedroom house with a long wing stretching toward the beach, and a sandy area connecting them. 

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The mansion’s projected completion date was March 2014, but due to construction delays, Ricketts moved in while the house was still incomplete in August 2015. The mansion had an estimated construction cost of $6.3 million. 

The legal battle involves intricate details of insurance coverage, notification timelines and responsibilities. LG is seeking a jury trial and compensation for damages in its case, while Westfield contends that it “has no duty to defend or indemnify LG,” and that Ricketts is not entitled to funds from the company.

—Quinn Donoghue  

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