Wilmington will fight suit filed in connection with blaze that claimed 3 firefighters

215
Advertisement

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki says the city will fight a lawsuit in connection with a suspected arson fire that claimed the lives of three firefighters and injured others in September of 2016.

“While we continue to be very sad about the loss of our firefighters and the way this incident has affected the entire WFD family, this lawsuit is not an appropriate response to this tragedy. There are no reasons at all for the City to feel guilt or shame. A grand jury has charged an individual with arson and multiple counts of murder in connection with this fire, and that person is awaiting trial. Yet, despite the pending criminal prosecution, plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed a civil complaint seeking money damages from the City affecting all the citizens of Wilmington, but leaving unnamed the individual accused of intentionally setting the fire.

 The City of Wilmington’s government and its citizens continue to meet any and all obligations to the victims of this tragic act of arson through compensation and benefit programs that are available to City employees. In addition to the amounts of money that the affected firefighters and their families may have received from the State and other sources, the City has paid or anticipates paying over $11 million to the affected firefighters and their families in medical costs and related benefits associated with his incident.

 Plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed this lawsuit in an attempt to get even more money from the City. Perhaps they believe or have convinced their clients, that this lawsuit is a way to gain additional compensation through a quick cash settlement.  If so, they are profoundly mistaken. I assure you that Wilmington will aggressively defend this case.

It is easy to file a lawsuit, and a complaint is just a list of allegations written by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Those allegations are not facts, and they are not evidence.  As the plaintiffs and their lawyers will learn, facts matter. The actual facts in this case differ sharply from the narrative contained in the complaint.   

Advertisement

The complaint  claim  that the rolling by-pass and staffing decisions were contributing factors in this tragedy. The city sharply disagrees. An individual has been charged criminally with intentionally setting this fire. Again, facts matter, and the facts will demonstrate the disturbing nature of this lawsuit.”

Advertisement
Advertisement