Court dismissed Gander Mountain claim on former Johnson City site
Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A judge for the U.S. District Court of Northern New York found there are no grounds for Gander Mountain to be released from its lease at its former site in Johnson City. In 2004, Gander Mountain signed a 15-year lease to operate their business at 528 Harry L. Drive. A flood in June 2006 inundated the store with between three and six feet of water. According to court documents, it was closed for 92 days while construction and remodeling crews restored the site for retail operations. In September 2011, another flood filled the store with five to eight feet of water. Gander Mountain never reopened because it could not obtain an all-risk property insurance policy that would have covered it in the event of a future flood. While Gander Mountain negotiated the lease with Pathmark Stores, Inc. the property was sold to ISlip U-Slip, LLC, in 2010. Gander Mountain filed a lawsuit last May seeking an order to terminate the lease on which it still owed about $2.2 million. The court found Gander Mountain failed to claim it was not able to negotiate terms that would have protected it in the event of a flood. "While it may be financially difficult or unprofitable for plaintiff to continue to operate their retail store, that does not excuse plaintiff's obligation to perform under the terms of the lease," the ruling stated. Gander Mountain also sought damages in the lawsuit claiming that, despite due diligence, Pathmark concealed information about the site's flood history. The court noted that the 2006 flood occurred two years after the lease was executed and said Gander had not explained why it failed to inquire about the flood issues then -- some five years before the next flood. "While plaintiff alleges that it was able to conclude, in September 2011, that Pathmark withheld information, plaintiff has failed to allege any facts with respect to what was discovered at that time and specifically how they discovered Pathmark's alleged wrongdoing such that despite due diligence, plaintiff could not have reasonably learned this information before the statute of limitations ran," the ruling stated. The decision, filed Feb. 11, the court granted ISlip U-Slip's motion to dismiss Gander Mountain's lawsuit.