Joint lawsuit targets investment firms associated with Twin Parks building

The lawsuit points to what attorneys say were windows that could not open, inadequate heat in building, a lack of a second way to escape for tenants and malfunctioning self-closing doors.

News 12 Staff

Feb 8, 2022, 11:43 AM

Updated 840 days ago

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A joint lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of 19 victims of the Twin Parks fire, four of which have died in the fire one month ago.
The complaint, filed by civil rights attorney Ben Crump and attorneys from Weitz & Luxenberg, names five defendants who lawyers say are investment firms associated with the Bronx high-rise building.
The lawsuit points to what attorneys say were windows that could not open, inadequate heat in building, a lack of a second way to escape for tenants and malfunctioning self-closing doors.
“These are investors coming to the Bronx letting these people die in these buildings because they are not interested in people – they are interested in profit,” said Crump.
In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the building owners released a statement: "The complaints filed today allege that last month's tragic fire was caused by the negligence of the building's owners and their agents. We believe the facts will show that allegation to be false."
The latest lawsuit follows a $3 billion class-action suit filed last month by a couple impacted by the deadly fire. Crump would not say what dollar amount is being sought in the complaint.
“If this was a building of rich white people on the Upper East Side – we don't want to say you get a blue-light special because this is Black people from the Bronx. That makes the question very clear what we are seeking,” he said.
Ever since the tragedy, elected officials on the local, state and federal level have been working on legislation aimed at preventing a fire like this from happening again. This includes new mandates such as requiring space heaters to have automatice shut off features – space heaters, which was the cause of this fire. Also, self-closing doors, and federal funding for fire sprinklers in public housing.
Meanwhile the displaced residents, staying in hotels got the news their stays would be extended until march 7.
"I speak to my kids and they say, you know, it was stressful for them, but they're alright now," said Jermaine Thomas, a former resident of Twin Parks. "I thank God about that."
Crump and co-lawyers say this will be a long process in the lawsuit investigation to bring justice for these families.
The spokesperson for building owners also addressed the temporary and permeant housing for those affected by the fire: 
"We continue to work around the clock with our property management, social service and relocation assistance teams to support and assist Twin Parks North West residents following last month's tragic fire, including providing them with multiple high-quality options for relocation in the Bronx. So far residents have signed 21 leases at the nearby La Central development, with 5 more expected to be signed by the end of the week.” 


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