Lost lawsuit costs F.M.I. another $22,000

By Tracey Arial

Last Tuesday, Justice Pierre Nollet from Quebec Superior Court ruled that France Mode Importation (F.M.I.) Inc. must reimburse the City of Laval $21,688.30.

The lawyer for the company argued that the fee was incorrect, unreasonable and that the company should only pay for the expert’s time and not that of other people in her company.

The court disagreed. Judge Nollet wrote: “In the absence of proof, it is difficult to agree to the complainant’s request.”

The figure covers the cost of expert testimony from chemical engineer Édith Demers. Laval used Demers’ testimony to successfully defend itself from a lawsuit in which F.M.I. blamed the city for $750,000 worth of damage to 2,244 pieces of clothing.

Justice Nollet ruled on that suit in June 2013. He rejected F.M.I.’s claims and required that it pay the cost of Demers’ testimony. The city itself had to pay for a second witness the judge found unhelpful.

The latest cost is just the most recent in a series of F.M.I. frustrations. It originally stems from a fire in the company’s liquidation centre at 102 Boulevard de la Concorde East on March 7, 2007. After the fire, the basement of the building was full of water and remained that way until mid-April. Only then, could the company figure out what its losses were. 

The company claimed that its clothing was damaged by water because firefighters and later city employees left a water valve open.

The city claimed smoke from the fire damaged the clothing.

In the end, Justice Nollet rejected F.M.I.’s claim, in part because the value of the clothing could not be independently verified. Supplier invoices were no longer available because they had been destroyed in a fire at the company’s boutique at 90 Concorde East the previous January.
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