Real Estate Developer Faces $20 Million Lawsuit Against Los Angeles City
Feb 19, 2016 05:17 AM EST
On Thursday, the city of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against a real estate developer that destroyed a downtown apartment complex while it was under construction. An entire city block was engulfed in a massive arson fire back in December 2014 over the incompetence of the developer.
According to the civil lawsuit, it was found that Geoffrey H. Palmer and his company, G.H. Palmer Associates, were unable to perform fire-safety precautions while they were constructing their development. Reuters reported that with these fire-safety precautions taken, the multimillion-dollar Da Vinci Apartments complex would not have ended up in flames.
The acting city Attorney, Mike Feuer, spoke up about the issue and said that they will be "fighting to fully compensate the city's taxpayers for losses." Considering there was a lapse in key safety measures on the part of the developer, Feuer is positive that the whole fiasco could have been avoided.
As reported on LA Times, Feuer said that the developers neglected to provide an adequate fire protection plan. Not to mention, the developer did not install fire walls or doors properly in the complex. In addition to this, they lacked sufficient water supplies and appropriate security measures for unauthorized individuals to gain access to their property. This was in reference to the 56-year-old man who was charged in May for having started the fire. The man, Dawud Abdulwali, was charged with two counts of arson where he pleaded not guilty. The blaze led to the the complex getting destroyed while three other neighboring buildings were damaged in the process.
SCPR reported that Abdulwali used an accelerant so that a fire on the fourth floor of the seven-story building could be started. It later took around 250 firefighters to extinguish the flame, which led to the damage of the Da Vinci complex alone costing up to $30 million. At the same time, the fire spread to the Hollywood Freeway and the Harbor Freeway, two major traffic spots in the city. No one was injured in the inferno.
Abdulwali is currently awaiting trial while spending time in prison for a bail of more than $1 million. If convicted, he could face 10 years to life in a state prison.
The representatives for Palmer and his company could not reached for a comment on the lawsuit filed against them. According to reports, the city is seeking $20 million for damages.