On November 19, 2018 there was a fire at Interfaith Apartments in Indiana. It resulted in the deaths of two men. One of those men was Richard Wilkinson, 56, whose son Nathan filed the wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf. The other man was Andrew J. Thornburg, 48, whose smoking habit caused the inferno (according to the Richmond Fire Department and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office).

According to the lawsuit, it was the negligence of Interfaith House Corp. and Justus Property Management that led to the fire spreading. Shirley E. Wentz, Steven Walters, and Mitchell Walters were also named as defendants. The three are principal officers for the aforementioned companies.

Early on during the litigation process, the parties involved agree that all three principal officers should be removed as defendants because they can hardly be blamed for a fire on property they help manage solely because they work for the aforementioned companies. Wayne County Superior Court Judge Gregory Horn removed the three from the case after the agreement was made, leaving the only defendants Interfaith House Corp. and Justus Property Management.

According to Nathan Wilkinson, the death of his father resulted in high medical bills, funeral expenses, burial expenses, and a loss of companionship that can’t really be measured in dollars. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of his father’s estate.

First responders discovered Richard Wilkinson struggling to escape from a stairwell. He was pronounced dead as he was transported to a nearby hospital. 

According to the lawsuit, it was negligent for the two companies to allow smoking in apartment buildings that were used to house only residents aged 55 or older, some with disabilities. The lawsuit also says that fire alarms were improperly maintained and could not properly warn residents of the danger from the spreading fire.

Interfaith and Justus are fighting the Lawsuit.

Personal injury can occur anywhere: at home, in the office, or on the streets. It can be the result of a car accident, workplace injury, or slip and fall. 

Have you been injured because of another’s negligence? Was a loved one killed in an accident caused by another’s negligence? You have rights. Find a personal injury attorney today for a free consultation on potential avenues to find compensation for lost wages or unexpected medical expenses that were not your fault.