Second Lawsuit Involving Fatal Mississippi Frat Fire Settled

January 16, 2013

The second of two wrongful death lawsuits filed in the aftermath of a 2004 fatal fire at the Alpha Tau Omega house on the University of Mississippi campus has been settled.

Jordan Williams of Atlanta, Ga., Howard Stone of Spencer, Va., and Will Townsend of Clarksdale died in the early morning fire on Aug. 27, 2004.

The Stone family’s suit against the national ATO organization, the local chapter and the house corporation was settled out of court last year, with terms undisclosed.

William M. Quin II, attorney for Williams’ family, tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the lawsuit has been “settled in principle.” He says within several weeks that papers will be filed with Lafayette County Circuit Court asking for the case to be dismissed.

Quin declined to discuss the settlement agreement.

Both lawsuits have sought unspecified damages.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Laboratory classified the cause of the fire as undetermined. The ATF said there was no evidence of foul play or that the fire was intentionally set. Investigators said the fire started in a basement bedroom.

ATO has rebuilt its house and equipped it with a sprinkler system. It did not have a sprinkler system at the time of the fire.

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