During the early morning hours of February, two brothers, 37 and 32 years old, got trapped in a fire that was spreading through their upper-story apartment. They were eventually rescued by the firefighters, however the older brother died from the injuries he sustained.
An investigation revealed that the fire started when the older brother fell asleep while smoking a cigarette. Toxicology reports indicated that his blood alcohol concentration was about three times the legal limit. The surviving brother hired an attorney who sued the landlord for wrongful removal of a stairway from the back door of the apartment.
As a result of stairway removal by the landlord, the premises were not safe for the tenants. Removal of a stairway in favor of additional storage area also represented a violation of building code. The plaintiff was awarded $700,000 for his injuries which included first-degree burns and respiratory problems. Monetary compensation in the amount of $1,300,000 was also awarded to the deceased brother’s estate.
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New York, NY 10022