Business owner says Panera is to blame for shuttered Rochester store

Greg Yatoomah explains lawsuit against chain restaurant

DETROIT – Why is a lawsuit that was first filed in 2014 dragging on? Insiders said Friday they know exactly why -- and put the blame on Panera Bread.

Greg Yatoomah, the owner of a Mattress Closeout Center, runs a successful store on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills. But his once-thriving location in Rochester was shut down, and Yatoomah said neighboring business Panera is the reason.

Everything changed for Yatoomah after an issue sparked with Panera, he said. A faulty water heater inside the restaurant leaked into the Mattress Closeout Center, and the damage done over time was severe.

Photos show the destruction, which included mold and water damage.

Trying to get the issue resolved was frustrating, to say the least, Yatoomah said.

The damage took a toll on Yatoomah’s business and also affected his family.

Repairs were made that stopped the leak on the Panera side of the wall, but the problems continued to pour in next door, Yatoomah said.

After talks with Panera corporate officials broke down, the next step was to take legal action.

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