Whitney Brakken Apr. 14, 2014, 10:00am

An insurance company is suing a Mexican restaurant and a cleaning company in an attempt to recoup money it paid out over a kitchen fire that caused damage to a Chicago building last year.

Safeco Insurance Co. of America, as subrogee of Luis Saucedo, filed a lawsuit April 4 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Pollo Express and All Star Filter Inc. doing business as All Star Filter Maintenance & Professional Hood Cleaning, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Saucedo owned property at 1315 W. 18th St. in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood that was insured by Safeco. The insurance company claims Pollo Express rented the property from Saucedo and was cooking in the kitchen when a fire broke out in January 2013.

Safeco contends the defendants' negligence caused the fire, asserting that it started after a charcoal grill ember ignited grease that was built up inside the kitchen vent. As a result of the fire, Safeco alleges it paid $103,086.12 to its insured.

Safeco Insurance is seeking the amount it paid out, as well interest and costs. It is being represented in the case by Bradley S. Lichtman of the Law Offices of Meachum, Starck, Boyle & Trafman in Chicago.

The above photo was taken from a Jan. 10, 2013 post on Pollo Express' Facebook page. According to the social media page, the restaurant reopened this past summer.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L003864.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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