Motions to dismiss UNO sprinkler flooding case continued

Alejandro de los Rios Jul. 8, 2010, 3:35pm


Two motions for summary judgment brought by defendants in a suit filed by the State of Louisiana on behalf of the University of New Orleans (UNO) against sprinkler manufacturers have been continued without date in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The state of Louisiana, through the Division of Administration Office of Risk Management and the UNO Foundation, is suing Honeywell International Inc.; Stanley Convergent Solutions Inc., as successor to Honeywell Service Monitoring (HSM), a division of Stanley Works; GEM Sprinkler Co. and its parent company Tyco Fire Products LP (TPM); Arena Fire Protection Inc.; Microbac Laboratories Inc.; Project, Time & Cost, Inc.; and ACE American Insurance Co. over flooding caused by an alleged sprinkler malfunction which caused $4 million in damages to UNO's technical building on Canal Street in New Orleans.

John Maher Jr., assistant to the Louisiana attorneys general, filed the original petition for subrogation on June 25, 2008. Maher was substituted as plaintiff counsel by Henry Provosty, Christopher Szapary, and Lena Giangrosso, special assisatans to the attorneys general.

New Orleans attorney Andrew Vicknair, defense counsel for Tyco and GEM, filed a motion for summary judgment on April 1.

Vicknair claims that the "plaintiff is unable to meet the burden of proof establishing a product defect" and that Tyco and GEM acted negligently in a way that led to its sprinkler system flooding the 12th floor of the UNO technical building.

New Orleans attorneys Robert Kerrigan and Jonathan Walsh are representing Arena Fire and submitted a motion for summary judgment stating that their client should be dropped as defendants. The motion states that "sufficient discovery has been conducted" and has shown that its equipment "worked exactly as it was intended."

On May 6, plaintiff attorneys filed a motion to amend Arena Fire's motion for dismissal to only a motion for dismissal with prejudice.

Baton Rouge attorney John Heinrich is representing Honeywell International and HSM.

Covington attorney Michael Pulaski is representing Microbac Laboratories.

New Orleans attorney David Salley is representing Project, Time & Cost.

New Orleans attorney Campbell Wallace and Metairie attorney Valerie Theng-Matherne are representing Stanly Convergent Security Solutions.

Judge Robin Giarusso is presiding over this case.

Orleans Paris Case 2008-06697

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