Monthly Archives: October 2023

Gary Snodgrass, Nicholas Meriage, and Andrew Corkery awarded defense verdict in a property damage case in St. Louis County

PS Attorneys: Gary Snodgrass, Nicholas Meriage, and Andrew Corkery

Representing: Boyer Fire Protection LLC

Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court

Facts: Property Damage. The plaintiff sought in excess of $1.5 million dollars in damages. Plaintiff’s final demand prior to trial was $900,000. This case resulted from a frozen sprinkler pipe that caused a flooding event in the Union Club 770 Building on February 14, 2020. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant, Boyer Fire Protection LLC, a sprinkler company, left water in the building’s dry sprinkler system, after a July 31, 2019 testing of the system. Plaintiff alleged this water left in the pipe several months before froze and led to the pipe burst causing damage to 15 apartments and common areas in one half of the building. Plaintiff claimed that costs to repair the building were over $1.5 million. Defendant claimed the cause of the water in the dry sprinkler system was the build-up of condensation, and the building owner’s failure to drain the condensation from the system pursuant to the National Fire Protection Association standards and the ordinances of the City of St. Louis. Defense counsel relied on testimony of the sprinkler company’s employees and owner. Defendant presented expert testimony from Kim Mniszewski, a fire safety engineer, who testified that Defendant met the standard of care and that the water was in the system as the result of the build-up of condensation over the seven months between the inspection and the incident. Defendant also presented testimony from Daniel Hogan, a forensic architect, concerning damages. Plaintiff introduced expert testimony from Nicholas Nava, a fire safety engineer who testified on the standard of care, and from Daniel Sovar who testified as to causation.

Verdict: Jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Defendant Boyer Fire Protection LLC. The jury found that Plaintiff was 100% at fault for the incident.

Past results afford no guarantee of future results.  Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.