Wrongful Death House Fire
Mother Dies Carrying Baby Out of East Boston Burning House
On October 3, 2002, a young mother was awakened by smoke and fire entering her third floor apartment in East Boston. She grabbed her two (2) year old baby and rushed down the stairs. Unfortunately, the smoke was too intense and she had to hand her baby to her brother, who was rushing out the door with her. She died of smoke inhalation and severe burns to her body, while her brother survived with burns over 95% of his body. The baby survived with severe burns to 25% of his body, including his face and arms, and spent two months in the hospital.
We secured testimony by the fire department personal that there had been no functioning smoke alarms. Nevertheless, the insurance company that insured the house insisted on putting on a defense. First, they refused to even acknowledge our demand for settlement. Second, when we brought suit in the Housing Court Department in Boston, they retained insurance trial counsel that did everything they could to thwart discovery, delay the case, and avoid resolving the case. This included having the defendant lie about when he changed the smoke detector batteries.
Unfortunately for the defendant home owner, their insurance counsel hung them out to dry: we filed motions to attach their real estate in East Boston and in Worcester, proving that they had insufficient insurance. In fact, the defendant lied under oath about the ownership of the Worcester property as well. Furthermore, the insurance defense attorney threatened that if the plaintiffs did not take a minimal settlement, they would allow the property to go into foreclosure.
We aggressively and effectively stopped all of the insurance company’s actions. We secured all of the insurance policy for our clients. In addition, we secured a six figure settlement from the defendants personally. Finally, we secured an agreement to take the issue of insurance coverage on the Worcester property to a separate trial and appeal.
Ultimately, we secured monies for the minor child to have an education trust.