A couple who survived the recent catastrophic Bronx building fire is suing the city and their building’s landlord for $3 billion in damages.
According to WABC, Rosa Reyes and Felix Martinez filed their class-action lawsuits on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Bronx Supreme Court.
In one of the lawsuits, the couple said their landlords were fully aware of the building’s “defective conditions.” However, these conditions, the couple says, were not addressed.
The suit accused the defendants of failing to ensure the front of each apartment door was self-closing and failed to make sure that smoke detectors on the premises functioned correctly. It also alleged that the landlords could not ensure that fire escapes were working and failed to have a sprinkler system, among other things.
The couple’s lawsuit named their landlords Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC, the building’s joint-venture owner, Belveron Partners, Camber Property Group, and Lich Investment Group. The defendants were also named as Cammeby’s International Group, who owned the 19th-story, 120-unit Bronx building before the other investment groups.
The latter company’s founder is real estate mogul Rubin Schron.
“We are devastated by the unimaginable loss of life caused by this profound tragedy,” Bronx Park Phase III Preservation LLC reportedly said. “We are cooperating fully with the Fire Department and other city agencies as they investigate its cause, and we are doing all we can to assist our residents.”
In a similar court filing, the plaintiffs say victims of the deadly Bronx fire should be awarded $1 billion from the city. They claim that the Department of Buildings allegedly paid “lip service to safety issues and fire issues and are responsible for the resulting injuries and deaths.” The couple’s lawyer, Robert Vilensky, also filed a claim against the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, Housing Commissioner Melanie La Rocca, and former Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s building has had over 20 violations in the past. Reports say that it has gotten complaints since 2014 despite getting $25 million in state loans for repairs.
Reyes and Martinez reportedly lived on the 16th floor of 333 181st St. in Tremont. Martinez is currently in critical condition at the hospital and is on a respirator due to severe burns, his lawyer said.