The family of a man who died last year in a fire at a Seven Springs Mountain Resort condominium in Pennsylvania has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a condo association, a chimney cleaning company, the chimney manufacturer and others. The estate of 22-year-old Jonathan Murt filed the lawsuit in state court. The suit alleges that the condo’s owner, a condo guest, the chimney cleaning company, and a defunct chimney manufacturer were guilty of negligence that caused the death. Murt and his girlfriend both died on January 27, 2008, of smoke inhalation.
The fire started inside the condo shortly after midnight. Murt was able to get out of the building, but returned to save his friend. He never made it out and their bodies were found the next day. The fire, which destroyed six condo units, was ruled accidental. While the resort was not named in the suit, it could be added later by amendment. Their involvement will hinge on what control and ownership connection the resort had with Sunridge Condominium Association. The fire occurred in Sunridge Condominiums in The Villages at Seven Springs. Discovery in the case will determine if additional defendants will be added.
Sunridge Condominium Association was aware of concerns with the chimney because of a 1993 fire at the condos, which was a result of improper design and installation of a fireplace, according to allegations in the suit. It’s alleged that the company failed to warn that the fireplace chimney chaseways were constructed with a fire resistance rating of zero.
The chimney cleaning company contracted to clean the chimneys at the resort, but officials failed to tell the condominium association and the owner that the chimney had a larger amount of creosote which caused an increased fire risk. As you probably know, creosote is a corrosive substance formed during the wood-burning process that builds up in chimneys. It’s alleged in the suit that Majestic, a fireplace manufacturer, failed to notify condo owners and the association that the fireplace was inadequate and improper for the intended use.
After their son’s death, the Murts created the Jonathan M. Murt BVA-WVU Memorial Scholarship, which provides assistance for a Belle Vernon-area high school graduate attending West Virginia University. Jonathan Murt was a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in engineering and had a good job. He died a tragic death. The Pittsburgh law firm Wilkes & McHugh is handling the case for the family.
Source: Daily American
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.