La Mesa RV, which previously announced the closing of its site in the Sarasota, Fla., area, is facing a legal battle with the owner of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Convention Center where the dealer opened an indoor outlet last year.

The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that La Mesa closed the site last month, claiming it could no longer do business amid unrepaired smoke and water damage. La Mesa, which had more than 90 campers in and around its former showroom, sued building owner Oscar Parsons, according to records filed in Sarasota County Circuit Court. The newspaper reported that Parsons subsequently entered a counterclaim against  La Mesa.

The dealer contends Parsons refused to repair an area damaged in an October fire, even though he was required to do so under terms of their lease.

“The electrical system was not in good working order, which caused in whole, or part, the fire,” attorney James A. Edwards stated in the lawsuit.

But Parsons, a 91-year-old Sarasota entrepreneur who has owned the building La Mesa operated out of since 2002 said in the counterclaim that La Mesa bears some of the blame for the blaze.

Parsons said he asked the RV dealer to leave after it failed to pay $31,950 in monthly rent for December, January and February.

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