ADT Sued by Banquet Hall Owners Who Lost Assets in Major Fire

Property owners sue fire monitoring company, saying company at fault for not triggering an alarm


JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. - Two Jeffersonville property owners trying to recoup $2.5 million in damages from a massive fire nearly two years ago are suing an alarm company and the business where the blaze began.

ADT Security Services was being paid to monitor an alarm system for Horner Novelty Co. when the fire broke out on Jan. 11, 2004, according to two lawsuits filed in Clark Circuit Court.

The owners of a damaged banquet hall claim ADT failed to trigger an alarm at the Horner property near the Ohio River. The banquet hall, called 300 Spring, is seeking $2 million in damages. Its attorney, Larry Wilder, said records show ADT hadn't picked up an alarm signal from the Horner site since 2002, even though it was receiving regular payments from the novelty store.

Rita Fleming, a physician is seeking $500,000 in damages, her attorney said.

Ann Lindstrom, a spokeswoman for ADT, said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Horner Novelty is also named as a defendant in both suits.

Investigators have said the fire began in faulty electrical wiring at Horner Novelty. The fire spread quickly through an open attic that connected the three-story building to others. Seven businesses were destroyed.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., http://www.courier-journal.com