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Judge dismisses Kmart/Kroger flooding case

CORINTH — A federal judge has dismissed Kmart Corporation’s lawsuit over flood damage to one of its stores in Corinth.

U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson ruled Kmart has insufficient evidence to support its arguments that the Kroger Company store in Corinth caused the neighboring Kmart to flood.

Kmart sued the city of Corinth and Kroger Company in May 2011. Corinth was dismissed as a defendant last fall.

Kmart’s lawsuit alleges a neighboring Kroger grocery was built in a floodway, and caused water to flood the Kmart store in 2010.

Kmart argued the Kroger store should have been torn down but in 2005 was allowed to remain after a flood map revision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The two stores anchor both end of the Fulton Crossing Shopping Center in Corinth

Kmart claimed Kroger’s position in a floodway caused a rise in floodwaters during a May 2010 heavy rain. The water flooded the Kmart store and caused it to close for 10 months for repairs.

The storm caused several other stores in Corinth to close, and most reopened after a few months.

Kmart was seeking compensation for the damages to the store and flood prevention efforts in April 2011 when the store was threatened again by flooding.

“Although Kmart contends that the Kroger building location and site plans were based on flawed site plans, Kmart has not presented evidence to raise a fact question,” Davidson said.

Davidson also said because Kroger was leasing the building from someone else it “was not authorized to make any changes to the building to enhance Kmart’s protection from flood damage.”

The case’s closing comes shortly after Davidson denied Kmart’s request to file an amended report by its engineering expert, John Krewson of EFI Global. The original report concluded that the Kroger building caused a 1-foot rise in the floodwaters that inundated the Kmart store, but the report was later revealed to contain flawed data.

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