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ARTICLE ID 194460

$________ MID-TRIAL – CLASS ACTION ON BEHALF OF RESIDENTS AND TENANTS – APARTMENT FIRE – LACK OF FUNCTIONING FIRE ALARM AND SPRINKLERS - LOSS OF PROPERTY – DISPLACEMENT FROM DWELLINGS

Philadelphia County, PA

This was a class action brought on behalf of more than ________ residents of a West Philadelphia apartment building which sustained significant fire damage on January 10, ________. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants, which included the owners and managers of the building, failed to have functioning sprinklers or fire alarms causing loss of property, loss of use of property, and displacement from their dwellings. The defendants maintained that they were not responsible for the cause or spread of the fire, and that sprinklers or activation of the fire alarm would not have made a difference in the property damage which occurred. The case was bifurcated and trial began on the issue of liability only.

The defendants’ apartment building consisted of 91 units located in West Philadelphia, PA. The cause of the fire was not determined, and there were no physical injuries claimed. The plaintiff’s witnesses testified that, when the alarm went off on the day of the fire, one of the defendants’ employees disabled the alarm by unplugging it and pulling out the battery pack, disabling the alarm’s zone feature used to locate the site of the fire. The plaintiffs claimed that the fire alarm system was routinely disabled prior to the day in question and calls to “________” were not made.

The plaintiffs also contended that the fire was permitted to spread due to a lack of sprinklers and the existence of a shaft which fed oxygen to the blaze and which was not code compliant.The case was settled on the third day of trial for a total of $________, and is subject to court approval.

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