The owners of a Burnaby hotpot restaurant were surprised to find out from a Burnaby NOW story that they were suing multiple fire-prevention companies for allegedly setting off its sprinkler system and causing “significant damage.”
Thumbs Up Hot Pot Burnaby Ltd., owners of the Liuyishou Hotpot at 5507 Kingsway, was named as plaintiff in a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver last month.
But Matthew Zhang, the company’s legal affairs director, told the NOW the lawsuit was filed without Thumbs Up’s “prior knowledge or consent.”
The suit had actually been filed by a lawyer hired by Lloyds of London to recover insurance proceeds paid to Thumbs Up for water damage at the restaurant, according to a letter from the lawyer provided to the NOW.
Lloyds of London is not named anywhere in the suit.
The notice of civil claim alleges Vancouver Fire Prevention Service Co. Ltd., Chubb Fire & Security Canada Corporation and a number of unnamed companies were responsible for accidentally triggering Liuyishou’s sprinkler system during work on the restaurant’s fire alarm in June 2021.
The incident caused “significant water damage to the restaurant and its contents,” the claim says, and resulted in “significant insured and uninsured loss,” including costs for cleanup, investigation of the damage, emergency repairs, replacement of contents and professional fees associated with repairs, replacements, remediation and restoration of damaged the property.
The incident also resulted in business interruption losses, according to the claim.
The claim alleges the companies were negligent and breached their duty of care in multiple ways, including failing to ensure the fire alarm was properly installed or connected before testing the signalling line and failing to take sufficient steps to stop the flow of water once it started.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
None of the companies named in the lawsuit have yet responded to the civil claim.