An Anne Arundel County jury has awarded a Glen Burnie financial services company more than $900,000 after it sustained water damage from a leak an adjacent hotel repeatedly failed to fix.
Bay Country Consumer Finance was flooded from a water leak at a Hampton Inn that was under renovation in 2016. Even after repeated assurances from Hampton Inn and its representatives the leak would not happen again, the problem continued and damaged Bay Country’s property, according to the complaint, filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in November 2016.
The leaks caused “significant damage” to Bay Country’s property and “caused a costly interruption of business,” the complaint states.
Bay Country paid out-of-pocket for all its repairs and furniture to return to full operation as quickly as possible, the complaint states. But the hotel refused to compensate Bay Country for the expenses, the complaint states.
Half of Bay Country’s office was partially closed for a little over two months because of the water damage, Steven R. Freeman said Wednesday.
Following a five-day trial and two-and-a-half hours of deliberations, the jury Friday awarded nearly $770,000 in economic damages and and $170,00 in noneconomic damages.
Bay Country was “very pleased” with the jury verdict after being repeatedly “stonewalled” by the hotel, Freeman said.
Bay Country sued for negligence, nuisance and trespass against Hilton, Hampton Inn and its management company, and as well as construction contractor Triple Crown.
The parties went to mediation but were unable to reach an agreement, Freeman said. The defense admitted fault two business days before trial, he added, but wanted to litigate the case on the issues of causation and damages.
Lawyers for the defendants could not be reached for comment.
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Bay Country Consumer Finance, Inc. vs. HIT Portfolio I GBGL Owner LLC, et al.
Court: Anne Arundel County Circuit
Case No.: 02C16003567
Judge: Mark W. Crooks
Proceeding: Jury trial
Outcome: $939,636 for the plaintiff: $760,000 for interruption of business; $170,000 for discomfort and annoyance; $9,636 for property damage
Incident: Aug. 15, 2016 (and prior incidents of flooding and water damage)
Suit filed: Nov. 28, 2016
Verdict: April 20, 2018
Plaintiff’s Attorney: Steven R. Freeman of Freeman Rauch LLC in Towson
Defendants’ Attorney: Jonathan P. Stebenne and Rachel B. Foreman of Law Office of Jonathan P. Stebenne in Baltimore
Count: Negligence, nuisance and trespass