TARGET 8: Flooding creates dispute between business owner, Parkade Center
COLUMBIA - After heavy rains this year, a small business in the basement of the Parkade Center was one of six businesses flooded. The shop owner believes the Parkade Center should foot the bill, but the manager of the shopping center disagrees.
Parkade Center manager Ben Gakinya called it "an act of God" after he said lightning struck the building causing the power to go out and sump pumps to fail back in late December. The pump failure caused the basement to flood.
Gakinya said tenants were supposed to move back in Jan. 2 once the water was removed.
Karma Care owner Linda Bonebrake said removing the water wasn't enough to get her to move back in because she feels the damaged floor tiles and baseboards were a potential liability to her therapy clients. She said it took the management a month to fix the tiles and baseboards.
"I've asked them if they're gonna compensate me for the lost time and business and they told me I had to pay my rent," Bonebrake said.
She said the damage to her business totals $2394.27.
Customer David Snipes said, "She should be compensated for this, you know there should be a compensation."
In a statement to KOMU 8 News, the Parkade Center said each tenant is supposed to carry business insurance that covers them from loss of business and damaged items, and that the landlord is not liable for damages that come out of interruption of utility services.
Bonebrake said she did not know she was supposed to have a specific kind of insurance that would cover such a claim, even though it was stated in the lease agreement. Gakinya said it was up to Bonebrake's insurance company to cover the claim, not the Parkade Center's.
An insurance agent not involved in the case said people need to carefully consider what insurance they might need before something bad could happen.
"You should try to sit down and figure out what kind of insurance you might need, you might want, what coverage you would want to pay for because you may not want to pay for all of those coverages," Barrett Glascock said.
He also said that it's up to insurance claims agents to figure out who is supposed to cover what. He said that if two different insurance providers can't agree, then they would have to go to subrogation.
"The claims people from one company and another company may get together and say 'well I don't feel our company is obligated at all I think it's your company to pay all the claim,'" Glascock said, "Well if they feel the same way then they gotta go to subrogation to decide who's gonna be at fault."
Subrogation happens when a company pays one of its insured’s for damages, then makes its own claim against others who may have caused the loss, insured the loss, or contributed to it.
Bonebrake has not yet said if she will try to take legal action in the case, but said she will try to move back in to her business as soon as she can.