DENVER (CN) – A security company’s performance during a warehouse fire was so poor that it overrode a contractual bar on negligence claims, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled.
Burglars set fire to the warehouse of Core-Mark International, which distributes merchandise to convenience stores. The fire burned for a week and caused $20 million worth of damages.
Sonitrol ignored the actions of the burglars, who didn’t even make an attempt to be quiet. By the time Sonitrol finally called the fire department, they were already at the warehouse fighting the fire.
The contract between Sonitrol Management Corp. called for liability for any failure to be limited to $500. However, Judge Ney rules that clause to be invalid.
“An exculpatory clause is against public policy when it enforces a release from willful and wanton conduct,” Ney said.