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Plaintiff testifies in Donald Trump breach of contract trial

The 87-year-old plaintiff in a real estate lawsuit in another state may not have the bluster of Donald Trump, but jurors will have to weigh the testimony of both of them. The woman is accusing Trump International Hotel and Tower of breach of contract for allegedly rescinding certain financial incentives that were part of a $1 million real estate deal at the hotel.

Trump Tower, a high-rise luxury hotel in Chicago, is the defendant in the litigation. The company sold two condos to the plaintiff in 2006. According to the plaintiff, she was especially attracted to components of the hotel’s offer like ownership and revenue sharing in some of the hotel’s amenities. She signed a contract for two condo units and paid $500,000 deposits on each one.

Two years later, Trump Tower rescinded those incentives from the deal. Feeling that she had been lied to, the plaintiff said, she sued to get the purchase agreement cancelled. She is accusing Trump Tower of impermissibly changing the terms of the agreement.

In response, Trump Tower is pointing to a clause in the contract that it says gave it permission to change the terms of the deal at any time. The plaintiff argues that the clause only referred to changes required by law or construction needs.

Though Donald Trump is not a named defendant in the suit, the plaintiff’s attorneys brought him in to testify. After his testimony, during which he repeatedly battled the plaintiff’s attorney, Trump told reporters that the 87-year-old was playing the “age card” to get money out of him.

The woman also testified. She told the jury that she invested in the condos because of the financial incentives and felt that she had been conned when Trump Tower withdrew the incentives.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Donald Trump may have met his match in Evanston grandmother,” Annie Sweeney, May 21, 2013

John P. Aldrich
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