Widow of Firefighter Killed in South Carolina Store Fire Sues Businesses

April 14, 2008

The widow of one of the Charleston, S.C. firefighters killed in last year’s Sofa Super Store blaze has sued the store, several furniture makers and other businesses, saying they were negligent in her husband’s death.

Attorneys for Heather Baity filed the lawsuit April 11. Baity’s husband, Brad, died along with eight other firefighters on June 18 in the fire at the furniture store in the nation’s greatest loss of firefighters since the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The families of two other firefighters filed similar wrongful-death lawsuits last year and an attorney representing two other families says he is preparing lawsuits on behalf of his clients.

The suits claim negligence by the store owners, the companies that made the furniture in the store, a contractor and the companies that built the fire doors, which investigators determined malfunctioned, contributed to the firefighters’ deaths.

“Brad Baity’s family is looking for more answers as to the factors that contributed to his death in June 2007,” attorney Kevin Dean told The Post and Courier of Charleston. “As they continue to grieve over the loss of their loved one, they seek accountability as well as a hope for change in industry standards to prevent others from having to face a similar tragedy.”

Sofa store attorney Richard Rosen has said the store’s owners have worked since the fire to make sure a similar tragedy never occurs and have cooperated with all investigations.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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