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Wal-Mart company sued for £16 million after fire

A Wal Mart subsidiary is facing a £16 million lawsuit after fire broke out in a warehouse it managed just hours after the sprinkler system was turned off.

Long-term warehouse tenants ING Real Estate claim Wal-Mart-owned Magna Park Management were responsible for the fire at Magna Park Logistics Centre, in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, in November 2005.

In a writ filed at the Technology and Construction Court, ING claims MPM should have isolated the fault in the sprinkler system rather than turning it off entirely, and that doing this prevented the fire from being brought under control.

The writ said: “The first defendant failed to manage the maintenance of the water sprinkler distribution system at Magna Park in accordance with the principles of good estate management.

“There was no plan or diagram showing how the feed system worked and/or how sections of it could be isolated while maintaining a flow of water to the ring main.

“And the defendants’ relevant personnel lacked any or adequate training in the operation of the system and as a result did not have any or adequate understanding of how the sections of the system could be thus isolated.”

ING also claims negligence against MPM’s employees Commercial Property Asset Management, Atlas Fire Engineering, and Young Contracting Company.

ING are claiming £14.5 million for the rebuilding contract, 1.4 million in lost rent, and £350,000 in rents and charges.