Tragically, four people passed away in a house fire in Akron, Ohio, in December of 2016. Now, the landlord who owns that rental house is being sued for $25 million.
The lawsuit comes from the estates of two girls and their father. There were other people involved in the fire. One young girl, who was just 12, lived through the ordeal. She is not a part of the lawsuit, nor is anyone else who was there. At this time it's not clear if anyone else will start a separate lawsuit.
News reports indicate that the two girls -- aged 8 and 9 -- and their father were living with their father's partner and her daughter. That daughter is the 12-year-old girl. The father's partner passed away, but her estate is not part of the lawsuit.
Another couple lived in the home's attic. They were best friends with the family living downstairs, and both survived; one was not home and the other escaped by leaping from a window.
An Akron city ordinance makes smoke detectors mandatory. However, the lawsuit says that the landlord did not provide them for those living in the rental house. As a result, it claims that she was negligent and that the injuries and fatalities from the fire were her fault.
At the time of the latest reports, the woman who owned the house wasn't facing any criminal charges. However, the fire investigators said they were still mulling over charges and may file them later, suggesting that there were in fact not proper smoke detectors in place.
When negligence makes a dangerous situation into a deadly tragedy, it's important for the family members of those who have passed away to know if they have a right to compensation on their behalf. As this case shows, potential compensation can be very significant -- though no total has been awarded as of yet.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal, "Owner of Akron house where four killed in fire faces federal lawsuit seeking $25 million in damages," Amanda Garrett, Dec. 20, 2016