GRETNA – The owners of a defunct cafe are being sued for allegedly abandoning their lease, taking equipment that did not belong to them and damaging the property.

Joseph B. Delerno Jr., Melba Delerno and Darryl Delerno filed suit against Sun Ray Cafe II, Dana Deutsch and Julia Deutsch in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 30.

The Delernos claim that on Sept. 1, 2005 the defendants rented a commercial property located at 619 Pink St. in Metairie for the purpose of operating the Sun Ray Cafe. The plaintiffs allege the lease was extended for an additional five years on May 4, 2011, but that the Deutsch closed down Sun Ray Cafe and abandoned the premises on Oct. 27, 2014, before the lease was up.

The Delernos assert the defendants failed pay the $4,375 in monthly rent, plus $250 a month in late fees, due for the remaining three months of the lease and failed to pay taxes on the property in the amount of $4,817.51. The plaintiffs also contend that when the defendants left they took possessions including a stove, steam table and various pieces of furniture and fixtures. In addition, the Delernos claim the defendants damaged a walk-in refrigerator until it had to be replaced at a cost of $26,379, failed to repair carpeting and dry wall that cost $4,076.04, failed to repair broken electrical outlets that cost $96.24, failed to replace a damaged parking lot fence that cost $1,382 and failed to repair siding on the building that cost $1,180.  The defendants also allegedly replaced a ceiling without the owner’s consent, which cost $4,230 in restoration expenses.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract and property damage.

Over $50,000 in damages, including attorney’s fees, is sought by the plaintiffs.

The Delernos are represented by attorney John E. Whalen Jr. of Harahan.

The case has been assigned to Division E Judge John J. Molaison Jr.

Case no. 749-249.

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