At this point in time, the Carabin Shaw and Wyatt Law Firms represent over 50 of the residents of the Wedgwood Senior Living Apartments concerning injuries and damages caused by this fire. Well over a dozen of these residents continue to suffer from catastrophic pulmonary or other injuries. And while we are not permitted to try the case through the media, we can share some basic information with those individuals who have been following this story.
With now 6 confirmed deaths and over 53 fire related injuries, the Wedgwood fire will go down as one of the top-twenty most deadly high-rise fires in U.S. History.
Our team of attorneys have been on scene almost daily for the past 18 days. We have coordinated with 8 different fire, building code, construction and alarm experts and we now understand the specific defects that made this fire one of the worst high-rise fires, ever.
We now understand what steps could have been taken by the owners and management that would have eliminated or greatly reduced the extent of injuries and death, these steps include, but are not limited to:
- Having a comprehensive evacuation plan that assessed the resident’s individual needs, including those that were immobile or unable to navigate the stairwells;
- Having smoke and fire alarms that were in proper working order;
- Properly maintaining and/or repairing the building to prevent thick, black smoke from building up in the common hallways and stairwells; and
- Having management controls in place so that unthinkable fire alarm operational issues did not occur on the morning of the fire, greatly increasing the time between the fire and rescue efforts.
It is important to understand that some of the residents were trapped within the building for over three hours after the outbreak of the fire because the residents were unable to escape. Many of our clients still remain in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Additionally, a substantial portion of the residents continue to experience a variety of health-related issues from the smoke inhalation, including compromised respiratory systems.
The building owners and management are currently finalizing and coordinating the scheduling of the retrieval of the tenants most personal effects. Despite our efforts, major delays were encountered, due in part, to discovery of asbestos that compromised the air quality in the building.
In conclusion, the investigation allows us to understand how and why this fire reached the level that it ultimately did. We have employed some of the very best fire, building code, construction and toxicology experts in the United States. These experts and our coordinated efforts with them are key to bringing swift justice in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy.