Another suit filed over Aug. 4 power outage in Aspen

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

Three more restaurants have filed suit against the parties they believe to be responsible for the widespread power outage in downtown Aspen on Aug. 4.

A lawsuit was filed in Pitkin County District Court on Friday afternoon by attorney Peter W. Thomas, of Praxidice P.C., which has an office in the Aspen Highlands area. The plaintiffs are listed as Pinons LLC, a South Mill Street restaurant owned by Rob Mobilian; and two restaurants owned by Craig and Samantha Cordts-Pearce: Brexi LLC, on South Monarch Street, and Steakhouse No. 316, on East Hopkins Avenue’s restaurant row.

The defendants, according to the suit, are Edwards-based LKP Engineering Inc., Morrison-based Odell Drilling Inc. and Aspen resident Patricia Gorman. LKP Engineering owner Luiza Petrovska declined comment when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon.

On Aug. 4, LKP was taking soil samples with subcontractor Odell Drilling at Gorman’s East Hallam Street residence, where, according to city officials, the crew was working without proper permits. At around 11:30 a.m., the city received a phone call from LKP saying the crew had severed a main electric feeder line.

The incident caused widespread outages in the downtown area. Power was not fully restored until around 10 p.m., but many of the affected businesses had been forced to close for the entire day or evening. Some have alleged thousands of dollars’ worth of lost business and spoiled food and beverages.

Last week, Aspen attorneys Christopher D. Bryan and Angela M. Vichick, of Garfield & Hecht P.C., filed suit against the same defendants on behalf of Bootsy Bellows, the upscale underground nightspot on East Hopkins Avenue’s restaurant row. Bryan estimated around $40,000 in damages but added that the losses were still being tallied.

And in mid-August, the Becnel Law Firm, which has offices in Aspen and Louisiana, filed a class-action complaint against LKP, Odell and Gorman. It claims thousands of dollars in lost revenue and wages for Brunelleschi’s restaurant, bartender Wesley Beuter and waitress Katrina Buesch.

Like the other legal complaints, the latest lawsuit on behalf of the three Aspen restaurants alleges negligence on behalf of the defendants.

“Defendants failed to exercise reasonable care when each engaged in conduct that furthered unpermitted and negligently performed soil-drilling services at the property,” the suit says. “Defendants violated certain municipal codes and ordinances requiring that licensed contractors obtain permits and approvals from the city of Aspen prior to undertaking the work.”

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and a damages award.