National civil rights attorney Ben Crump, along with a NYC-based law firm, is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the victims of the Bronx apartment fire that claimed the lives of 17 people last month.
In a statement to the Black Information Network, Crump said that the lawsuit is about "holding those responsible accountable and ensuring that no community has to suffer a loss like this again."
The lawsuit is being specifically filed on behalf of four families whose children and loved ones either died or were hospitalized as a result of the January 9 high-rise apartment fire. The statement listed the families as follows:
- Mahamadou Hassimi and Safietou Bocoum whose son and daughter died in the fire and surviving son suffered critical injuries;
- Fatoumata Sankanu whose two-year-old son was attending daycare in the building when he perished in the fire;
- The Janneh family who lost their 27-year-old daughter, Sera, and have three additional family members who were hospitalized with injuries; and
- Diariato Isabel Drame, a 20-year-old mother from Angola, whose three-month-old son was hospitalized with injuries.
The apartment building owner, housing companies, investment groups, and property developers are being listed in the lawsuit as the parties responsible "for ensuring the building is compliant with health and safety codes and the maintenance of the building."
NYC officials blamed the fatal fire on space heaters being used in a bedroom, while housing advocates uncovered multiple complaints in the city's public records that showed residents of the building submitted claims about inadequate heat.
"This building was home to a very close-knit community in pursuit of the American dream when their world was devastated by this preventable tragedy. We are determined to get them the justice they deserve," Crump said.
The legal team is encouraging any other victims to call 800-790-9889 to join the suit.
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