After an investigation, the cause of the fire was found to have been a malfunction of the compressor unit and/or power cord…the plaintiffs claim the freezer was not safe for its intended use and also made claims of defective design, breach of implied warranty and negligence.
Porker’s made claims for destroyed property and lost business during restoration, but Goodwin’s Dec. 7 ruling concerned three types of other damages requested. They were the cost to build a new Porker’s, lost franchise and royalties fees and the cost of preparing the franchise agreement…Goodwin wrote Porker’s was harmed by the fire but not destroyed, and the insurance payouts were designed to get business resumed. The company requested $105,935 to rebuild in its lawsuit.
After being told it could not seek damages to rebuild itself, Porker’s Bar-B-Q settled its lawsuit against General Electric and Wal-Mart on the eve of trial. The lawsuit claimed they were responsible for property damages from a fire caused by a freezer GE made and Wal-Mart sold. It was filed in 2011 by Jack Bruer and Pam Napier, the owners of Jack and Pam’s who operated Porker’s, and the settlement was entered 10 days after U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
The plaintiffs claimed a General Electric freezer bought three years earlier at a Sam’s Club store caught fire and destroyed the business premises of Porker’s, located in Cross Lanes, on Aug. 19, 2009.
Despite insurance company payouts, Porker’s has been out of operation since the fire. During its years of operation, Porker’s never turned a profit, Goodwin wrote.
“The defendants rightfully point out that the plaintiffs stated in their deposition testimony that Porker’s restaurant closed not because of the fire but because the landlord refused to renew their lease,” Goodwin wrote.
Bruer planned to go back to business after repairs were completed, but they never got the chance. The plaintiffs claim the fire was still the proximate cause of the restaurant because it led to the breakdown in the relationship between them and the landlord.
Goodwin found that a reasonable jury could not agree with that argument.