Company updated Fire suppression system in restaurant and fails to submit plans to City resulting in weeks of lost business.

Pyrotek was hired to update fire suppression systems in our opening restaurant and nightclub. They failed to follow city regulations by submitting the plans for the adjustments before building the additions. This has directly resulted in the loss of revenue that would be generated by our opening, and subsequently causing weeks of delay and severe profit loss in terms of building rent, inability to now attain the permit for use of a neighboring companies liquor and catering license, and thus all caused by Pyroteks negligence and disregard for local zoning and building codes. Is it possible to sue. It only got the addition of the 20k of rent due for the building to go unused yet another 3 weeks until all inspections can be done, in addition to the loss of profits caused by the ordeal? We also would like to go to the news but aren’t aware of its even legal to do so at this time.

Asked on September 29, 2017 under Business Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they were unreasonably or unprofessionally careless, as they apparently were by not following regulations, you can sue them for the provable losses their negligence caused you. This can certainly include costs (for example, rent paid while you can't open) you incurred as a result; however, if you are a new restaurant/club without a track record of operations and revenues, it may be hard to recover lost profit and the like, because it may be impossible to prove those losses--i.e. how do you prove how much profit a new operation, without any past performance or profit history to extrapolate from, would have made? So you seem to be entitled, based on what you write, to compensation for their negligence, but will only be able to get those things or amounts you can prove to a sufficient certainty.
As for going to the news--don't. It may be morally satisfying but will do nothing to get you your money; and if you say anything debatable, could face a lawsuit for defamation. Even if you could win it and defend yourself successfully, do you want to court a possible defamation suit?


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