Lawsuit Demands Damages Be Paid in Empress Fire
The casino's owners are seeking $83.5 million from six companies they say share liability for the devastating blaze more than three years ago.
The owners of the former Empress Casino in Joliet want $83.5 million in damages from the six companies they say are responsible for causing a huge fire at the gambling complex in March 2009.
The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday, seeks recompense from general contractor W.E. O'Neil, subcontractor Jameson Sheet Metal, kitchen cleaning company Averus, architect Linden Group, engineering firm R. L. Millies & Associates and sprinkler company Global Fire Protection, according to a story in the Joliet Herald News.
A welder working in the kitchen area is believed to have started the fire when a spark ignited cooking grease and spread to the building's attic, eventually destroyed the casino's ballroom and restaurants and damaging the entertainment pavilion, the story said. Damage was estimated at $340 million.
The casino was closed for three months during reconstruction. It is now Hollywood Casino Joliet.