Village officials in southwest suburban Matteson filed a lawsuit Wednesday to close the town's mall.
The lawsuit cites more than 25 fire, safety and building code violations identified at Lincoln Mall, creating what officials call dangerous conditions that threaten shoppers' health.
Among the violations, according to the suit, is exposed electrical wiring, a dismantled fire sprinkler system, blocked fire exits, and a crumbling roof.
Village officials said in a statement the mall's owner has ignored citations and refuses to meet with village leaders about plans to improve Lincoln Mall's conditions.
“This was a difficult decision because of the important role Lincoln Mall has played in our community for so many years,” Village President Andre Ashmore said in a statement. “But we have a duty to protect the public."
Ashmore said the town has repeatedly tried working with the mall's owner, but "we can no longer allow him to ignore his responsibility at the expense of the health and safety of visitors. We have no other choice than to close Lincoln Mall until it is safe.”
The lawsuit seeks the mall's immediate closure. It houses 45 retailers and employs about 100 people.