Pennsylvania condo fire leaves young couple dead

Location: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff: The parents of a 22-year-old man killed in a fire
Defendant: A ski resort, condominium association, condo owner, fireplace manufacturer, fireplace cleaning company and various other subsidiaries
Amount:  Multiple confidential settlements
Alleged Injuries: Negligence, breach of warranties, strict liability, and wrongful death in a case that left two people dead from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation and severe burns in a condominium fire.  

Description: A young man and his girlfriend planned to spend a weekend with friends in a condo at a ski resort but were killed when a fireplace chimney malfunctioned, engulfing the condo in flames.

Attorneys from Wilkes & McHugh represented this young man’s family in an action against multiple parties alleged to have played a role in the fire. The member of the group who started the fire fell asleep and left it unattended. The condominium association failed to take proper steps to inspect the fireplaces in each of the condo units and take action to make them safe despite the fact that there had been a previous fire in another condo.

The chimney cleaning company was aware from its inspections that the condo had a larger degree of creosote (a corrosive substance that forms during the wood-burning process and builds up in chimneys) in the chimney than other units in the same building, yet failed to warn the owners of the increased risk of a fire.

The condo owners were negligent for not ensuring that their fireplace was properly cleaned and maintained and failed to provide sufficient fire extinguishers in case of emergency.

The fireplace manufacturer made and distributed a defective fireplace. The stack’s seams failed, allowing flames to escape and ignite wood around the stack and spread throughout the condo. The distribution and installation company was negligent and breached warranties.

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