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Former Chicago Bear suing moving company over lost memorabilia

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Updated: April 13, 2013 6:42AM

A former Pro Bowl linebacker for the Chicago Bears is suing a local moving company, claiming “irreplaceable” sports memorabilia were lost when he moved from Vernon Hills to Chicago, a claim the company calls “fraudulent.”

Otis Wilson played eight seasons with the Bears from 1980-88 and was a starting linebacker during the 1985 Super Bowl win.

Wilson claims four game balls from his playing days with the Bears are among several items that were never returned to him by Midway Moving & Storage.

However, the company insists Wilson signed an acknowledgement that he had received all of his items after the move, according to a statement from the company.

Wilson hired Midway to move his belongings from Vernon Hills to the city in the summer of 2012, storing some of the items at the company’s West Side facility for a week in between, the suit claims.

He claims other missing items include a Player of the Year award from the University of Louisville, other little league and high school trophies and a crystal ashtray commemorating an exhibition game the Bears and the Dallas Cowboys played in Europe in 1986, the suit says.

But Midway, which calls itself the “Official Mover of the Chicago Bulls,” claims none of those items are included on a detailed inventory list of the belongings that were placed in storage.

The statement from Wayne Stephens, director of operations, said Wilson signed “in several places that he received all of his items from Midway in good condition” and “at no time did he indicate that any of his items were missing.”

In fact, the statement claims, Wilson hired Midway again in September 2012, three months after the initial move, to move a relative, but canceled the contract “after learning he would be charged.”

“Midway has enjoyed a stellar reputation in the community, but unfortunately, these hard economic times can produce fraudulent claims,” the company said in response to the lawsuit.

Wilson says the items are “completely irreplaceable,” and that he has called the company numerous times to complain to no avail. But the company claims a January email to Wilson’s lawyer went unanswered, the statement said.

The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, claims breach of contract, negligence and conversion. It seeks at least $150,000 in damages.

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