Claremont Insider: Chop House Update

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chop House Update

Here's an update to our post from Saturday:

Daily Bulletin reporter Wes Woods II covered the Forks Chop House closure in today's paper. The article said the restaurant was unable to reopen following a December 2008 kitchen fire because its insurance company apparently denied the restaurant's business interruption claim, which would have reimbursed the owners for the business they otherwise would have transacted.

The Forks' landlord, Jeved Management, apparently wasn't able to hold the restaurant's space during the lengthy period the owners were trying to settle their insurance claim. Woods' article said:

The restaurant didn't have enough money to reopen because its insurance company refused to pay business interruption fees, co-owner Mark Bollinger said.

Restaurant officials didn't provide information about how much money is owed to them.

"In the meantime, the landlord came to us and said `I can't wait for an insurance settlement,"' Bollinger said. "`I'll have to pull the plug and get someone else.' "

Jeved Management, incidentally, is owned by the Tessier family, which also owns Arteco Partners, the developer that restored the Fox Theatre in Pomona, as well as the Padua Hills Theatre, and the Claremont Packing House where Forks was located. Jeved filed a lawsuit against Forks in Pomona Superior Court last year, possibly in connection with a lease dispute. It appeared to have resolved fairly quickly, according to the court's information:
Case Number: KC056128

Filing Date: 06/25/2009
Case Type: ED/Commercial (not Drugs/Evict) (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Dismissed - Other 09/14/2009

Future Hearings


TESSIER VICTOR G. ESQ. - Attorney for Plaintiff

Documents Filed (Filing dates listed in descending order)

09/14/2009 Ord of Disml with prejudice
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

09/02/2009 OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv
Filed by Clerk

06/26/2009 Notice-Case Management Conference
Filed by Clerk

06/25/2009 Complaint Filed

Proceedings Held

Today's Bulletin article makes it sound as if Bollinger's claim now includes the entire value of the business, not just the income loss they suffered. Bollinger was also quoted as saying that the Forks' owners have retained an unnamed Claremont law firm to represent them.

We suspect that, if a bad faith suit with any merits is in the works, the law firm the Forks retained could be Shernoff Bidart Echeverria, which in 1979 was responsible for a landmark case called Egan v. Mutual of Omaha that allowed consumers to sue their insurance companies for wrongfully denied claims and to be compensated for emotional distress and punitive damages in addition to the value of the underlying claim. (Translation: mucho mas dinero.)

Shernoff's website explains that Egan created the whole practice area of bad faith litigation. If we were in the Forks' shoes, we'd sure want that firm representing us. SBE is not just the best in the business; they invented the business.