Asian buffet-style restaurant sues landlords over not fixing building following Hurricane Katrina

Kyle Barnett Aug. 22, 2012, 1:00am

Jason Cavignac

GRETNA – The owners of a former Kenner buffet are suing their landlords who they claim refused to honor their lease terms following the destruction of the building in a hurricane.

Asian Super Buffet LA Inc., Yu Wen Zheng and Luo Jun filed suit against Antonino Vincent Caracci, Sr., Rosemary Caracci and the Estate of Alice Gloria Caracci in the 24th Judicial District on July 23.

Asian Super Buffet claims that it entered into a lease agreement with the Caraccis in 2003 for a five year period, but later added an addendum to the lease after Hurricane Katrina in 2009 extending it to 2013.

The plaintiffs allege that as part of their insurance policy they were required to sign over any insurance benefit to the owners of the property, the defendants, who then had a duty to repair the business to its original state. Zheng and Jun assert that on behalf of Asian Super Buffet they won a lawsuit against their insurer in 2011 in which they were awarded $1.2 million, which was reduced to over $784,000 after attorney's fees and legal expenses. The plaintiffs claim they signed that check over to the Caraccis who they expected to invest in the grounds of their former business pursuant to their lessee contract.

The defendants are accused of failing to repair the premises and not repairing the business so the plaintiffs could be evicted.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for destruction of their once-profitable business, non-pecuniary loss, an order directing the defendants to pay for all non-property related insurance claims they may be entitled to, attorney's fees and interest.

Asian Super Buffet is represented by Jason Cavignac of New Orleans-based Couhig Partners, LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Patrick J. McCabe.

Case no. 717-373.

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