BENTON – An insurance company is suing over restoration work in a restaurant that allegedly led to a damaging fire.
Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Company filed the suit April 20 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Merz Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. and Rock Solid Surface Restoration Inc.
The plaintiff brings this action as subrogee of the insured, Firefly Grill LLC, which operated a restaurant at 1810 Avenue of Mid-America in Effingham.
As part of its operations, the insured used a wood-fired stove in its kitchen, the suit says. Merz designed and installed the original ductwork in approximately 2005, according to the complaint, which says that after a fire in the ductwork in January 2011, Merz installed new ductwork.
The insured hired Rock Solid to periodically clean the ductwork that Merz installed, the suit alleges. On Aug. 30, 2015, a fire started in the ductwork, causing significant damage to the building, requiring the restaurant to shut down and requiring replacement of the ductwork, according to the suit.
As a result of the fire, the restaurant filed a claim under its insurance policy with the plaintiff.
The complaint alleges that both defendants failed to exercise reasonable care in the design, manufacture and installation of the ductwork.
The plaintiff seeks judgment in the amount of $100,472 plus court costs and other relief the court deems necessary. The requested damages is the amount the plaintiff paid to settle the claim with the restaurant.
The plaintiff is represented by Kevin L. Fritz and John P. Torbitzky of Lashly & Baer PC in St. Louis.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois Case number 16-cv-437