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Published: Thursday, 9/23/2010

Brondes awarded $2.3M in fire case

After weeks of testimony and days of deliberations, a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury found Habitec Security negligent in its installation and maintenance of a fire alarm system, causing a delay in the response time to a 2002 fire at Brondes Ford on Secor Road.

The jury of five men and three women found that there was a delay in the fire system installed at the car dealership and that the delay was the result of neglect on the part of the Toledo-based security company. The jury awarded $2.3 million to Brondes Ford Inc., about $40,500 to owner Phil Brondes, Sr., and nearly $2 million to Universal Underwriters Insurance Company.

The dealership was destroyed in a fire that was ruled accidental by federal investigators. The dealership sued Habitec for negligence in 2004, claiming the fire alarm system was not installed properly, leading to a delay in its activation.

Judge Gary Cook presided over the trial.

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