After a 2013 fire at Cap'n Nemo's in Tremont, owners Robert and Judy Cousins filed a lawsuit against firefighters and others. A federal judge recently recommended that 10 of the claims in the most recent suit be dismissed. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Nemo’s lawsuit dismissal urged

BANGOR — A federal judge has recommended dismissal of 10 of the claims in a lawsuit against members of the Tremont Fire Department and others filed by Robert and Judy Cousins in the wake of the December 2013 fire that destroyed their restaurant, Cap’n Nemo’s.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison made that determination in a Jan. 30 filing in U.S. District Court. Nivison also is recommending that eight defendants be dismissed from the case.

Nivison’s recommendations are in response to a motion to dismiss filed in November by Devin Deane and Robert Bower, attorneys for the defendants.

“The judge agreed with the merits of our motion to dismiss including the dismissal of additional claims and defendants,” Deane said.

Nivison is recommending dismissal of the claims by the Cousinses that they were victims of retaliation, writing that the couple failed to state a claim in these counts.

The Cousinses, who represent themselves, are alleging that their restaurant burned due to “terroristic arson” and arson. Nivison wrote that the couple has no standing to prosecute charges against others, so these counts are “futile and dismissal is appropriate.”

Nivison also recommends that counts alleging violations of the Maine Freedom of Access Act and Maine Tort Claims Act and one of defamation be dismissed.

The Cousinses allege that articles in the Mount Desert Islander defamed the couple and inflicted emotional distress. The newspaper, Reporter Mark Good, Editor Earl Brechlin and Publisher Alan Baker were named as defendants. Nivison writes that the couple has not alleged any fact to support a defamation claim, and it should be dismissed.

Nivison also is recommending that Tremont Town Manager Dana Reed, former Code Enforcement Officer Debbi Nickerson and Wayne Patton and Thomas Chisholm be dismissed as defendants.

If Nivison’s recommendations are accepted, six counts would remain in the lawsuit. These claims are directly related to the actions of firefighters, Deane said. “The focus now is on the claims related to the fire,” Deane said. “We look forward to defending the firefighters.”

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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