There is more fallout from a fatal apartment fire in Harlem that claimed the lives of six individuals last year. A newly-filed lawsuit alleges that the deaths were a direct result of the poor living conditions at the complex—operated by NYCHA. The lawsuit goes on to say that the neglect with which NYCHA officials treated the individuals who lived in the apartment complex contributed to these fatalities and the agency should be held responsible.
The fire happened on May 28th of 2019 and claimed the lives of a young mother and four of her children in addition to another victim—a family friend who was staying in the same fifth-floor apartment at the time.
The lawsuit goes on to say that NYCHA failed in even the most basic duties to provide a safe living space for the residents of the seven-story complex. Indeed, the documents filed in superior court allege that NYCHA failed to inspect the apartment as they should have done and that there were no working smoke alarms in the apartment at the time of the blaze. Additional hazards like the lack of a sprinkler system and a fire escape that was inaccessible to the victims are also said to have contributed to their deaths.
Apartment owners—whether they are individuals or a branch of the city itself (like NYCHA)—are required to regularly inspect conditions in housing units and provide basic safety equipment including working smoke alarms. Failure to do so could expose these owners to liability (legal responsibility) for any injuries or deaths to the apartment dwellers and their guests
While it’s rare that criminal charges ever result from such tragedies, civil lawsuits (such as the one recently filed with NYC supreme court) can allow victims and/or their surviving family members to hold at-fault parties financially responsible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire, contact an experienced New York City apartment fire attorney today to recover the compensation you deserve. Call The Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 right now.