Missourians Settle Fire Related Lawsuit for $12M

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Several family members of three people who were killed and 20 who were severely injured in a 2005 Missouri apartment complex fire recently settled their lawsuit against the complex’s owners. The apartment facility allegedly lacked the proper safety equipment at the time of the fire – and residents are now being asked to move because the apartments still aren’t safe.

Missouri wrongful death & personal injury

This tragic case involved both Missouri wrongful death and personal injury. According to news reports, an apartment complex fire at the Boardwalk Apartments in Kansas City Missouri destroyed over 75 apartments, killed three people and seriously injured 20 others in 2005. Many of the complex’s residents had to jump out of third story windows to evacuate the buildings – which did not comply with safety standards.

The parties recently settled the matter out of court for $12 million. Unfortunately, the owners haven’t brought safety standards up to code in the four years since the fire and have now told residents that they have to leave. That news came only days after the settlement was reached.

Landlords must provide safe living conditions

The apartment complex fire was started by an arsonist who is now serving time in prison. So, who is ultimately responsible for the deaths and injuries which occurred? While the arsonist was prosecuted for his criminal actions, the apartment complex owners are still liable for not providing residents with a safe place to live.

From a legal standpoint, landlords have a duty to provide safe living conditions to residents – whether that residence is an apartment, a house or any other dwelling. That generally means complying with local safety codes – at a minimum. When landlords are negligent in doing so, they will likely be liable for any injuries that are sustained due to a breach of that duty. While every situation is unique and will depend upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your situation and discuss what options and compensation might be available to you.

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