NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Victims of the deadly high-rise fire in the Bronx filed multiple lawsuits on Tuesday, claiming that safety rules violations led to the tragedy.
In all, 17 people died in the fire last month.
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As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, the complaint doesn’t list specific violations, but attorney Ben Crump says there were problems with the building’s self-closing doors that didn’t close, and windows that wouldn’t open.
A lack of sufficient heating was also an issue.
“We’re not fungible, we’re not disposable, you can’t just throw us away,” one person said.
Shattered families returned to the place of their heartbreak Tuesday, refusing to let their loved ones die in vain.
Backed by attorneys, they announced a lawsuit against the owners of Twin Parks North West.
“It’s not easy to come to you today, but we have to hold the proper people accountable,” said fire victim Fatima Janneh.
Janneh lost her sister Sera in the Jan. 9 high-rise fire that claimed 17 lives. The 27-year-old college student died of smoke inhalation while trying to escape from the sixth floor.
Attorney Ben Crump says violation of multiple safety rules resulted in their wrongful deaths.
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“Windows couldn’t open up, smoke couldn’t escape, that there is no proper egress, so literally they died from their lungs filling up with smoke,” Crump said.
Multiple lawsuits have already been filed against the housing companies, developers, and investment groups associated with the building alleging negligence. The most recent Tuesday by Crump and Weitz and Luxenberg represents six families.
“These were people who were just starting their lives and they died one of the most miserable horrible deaths imaginable,” Crump said.
Families say even now, many still feel marginalized.
While an ownership spokesman told us they are providing multiple high-quality options for relocation, families say they have only been shown one location.
“They say they are helping us but they are only giving us very few resources and it’s very frustrating to have to live in a hotel for 30 days,” said fire victim Rokia Touray.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
When asked for the monetary amount, all attorneys would say is that they are seeking equal justice.
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