Lease Excuses Tenant from Liability for Fire

June 27, 2014
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Facts: A dry cleaning business in a shopping center incorrectly installed commercial dryers in its space without using a professionally trained installer. It vented the dryers into the attic instead of to the building’s exterior. The shoddy installation later caused a fire. The center’s owner sued the tenant for negligence and breaching its lease by taking actions that damaged the center. The tenant asked a district court for a judgment in its favor without a trial. The district court ruled in favor of the tenant. The owner appealed.

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