- Jesus Jimenez, Dallas Morning News

After a billboard tumbled into an Uptown Dallas parking lot during a powerful June 9 storm, the company that leases the sign is suing the parking lot’s owner.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Dallas County district court, the lot’s owner is using the incident in a “scheme to exploit a clear ‘act of God'” and cancel First Glendora Partners’ lease on the sign.

First Glendora’s lawsuit alleges that Portolani Family LP, which owns the lot near McKinney Avenue and Hall Street, used the storm as a pretext to claim that First Glendora failed to maintain the billboard, improperly withheld rent while it was damaged and did not maintain insurance.

But the parking lot’s owner doesn’t have the evidence to back its claims, First Glendora says.

“The sign fell because it was not properly maintained, not because of the storm,” said Larry Friedman, a lawyer representing the lot’s operator.

Repairs on the sign were completed July 15, and a new billboard is up, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks to force Portolani Family to honor its lease agreement and prohibit it from interfering with First Glendora’s attempts to access and maintain the billboard.

Attorneys representing First Glendora did not respond to requests for comment.

On Monday afternoon, a judge granted a temporary restraining order that bars the parking lot’s owner from preventing First Glendora from accessing the billboard. The next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 12.

The owners of the two vehicles damaged by the billboard, which was toppled in 70-mph winds, are not involved in the lawsuit.