ACK obtained summary judgment in Déjà vu, Inc., et al. v. Laurienzo's Restaurant, Inc., et al. , in favor of Laurienzo's Restaurant, Inc. The case arose from the September 2007 fire at the historic Watkins Building in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The building was owned by a co-defendant, and a portion was leased to Laurienzo's. Plaintiff owned a retail clothing shop adjacent to the restaurant, and allegedly sustained property damage as a result of the fire. Plaintiff filed this action alleging that the co-defendant was the cause of the fire because of faulty electrical wiring in the building or, alternatively, that Laurienzo's was the cause of the fire due to a negligently operated and/or maintained brick oven in the restaurant. Plaintiffs sought $250,000 in compensatory damages.
Plaintiff's fire cause and origin expert testified during his deposition that the conditions inherent in the pizza oven exacerbated the spread of the fire. He eventually conceded however that Laurienzo's brick oven did not cause the fire and instead identified an electrical malfunction in co-Defendant's building as the fire's sole and exclusive cause. Laurienzo's filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiffs lacked any causation evidence for their claim against Laurienzo's. Granting summary judgment, the court ruled that the testimony of Plaintiffs' expert was insufficient to implicate Laurienzo's brick oven as the cause of the fire.