Netherlands Insurance sues over fire claim in Ballwin, Mo.

Kelly Holleran May 17, 2011, 4:26am

An insurance company has filed suit against a repair company that it claims caused it to spend more than $100,000 after a fire destroyed property it insured.

Netherlands Insurance Company claims it was forced to pay Sher Care $117,142.81 after Sher Care's property at 14501 Manchester Rd. in Ballwin, a restaurant known as El Maguey, was destroyed by fire.

The fire began in a deep-vat fryer on July 18, 2009, which had over-heated, according to the complaint filed May 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Just before the incident, defendant Olvera's Trade Winds had been called to the restaurant to fix a deep-vat fryer that would repeatedly shut off when it reached a certain temperatures, the suit states.

"It was learned after the fire that the high temperature safety control shut-off on the subject fryer had been improperly bypassed," the complaint says.

Following the fire, Sher Care submitted a claim to Netherlands for damages caused during the fire. Subsequently, Netherlands paid $117,142.81, according to the complaint.

Now, Netherlands seeks a return of its money from Olvera's Trade Winds, alleging negligence against the company, which it claims performed an unauthorized bypass of the shut-off valve. In addition, Olvera's failed to properly inspect the fryer to determine if the thermometer was working, failed to ensure the high temperature shut-off valve was functioning and failed to comply with appropriate industry standards, the suit states.

In its two-count complaint, Netherlands is seeking costs and other relief the court deems just in addition to the money it says it should be repaid.

It will be represented by Gerald A. Sims of the Law Offices of Rouse and Cary in St. Louis and by Gary A. Monk of the Law Offices of Meacham and Starck in Chicago.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-224.

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