Family Of Fire Victims Files Lawsuit

From the CT Post:

BRIDGEPORT — The family of a city woman and her three children, who died in a fire in their West Side apartment in November 2009, claim their deaths was the result of the negligence of city officials, in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Tiana Black and her three children, Ny-shon Williams, 5, and 4-year-old twins, Nyaisja and Tyaisja Williams, died in a fire in their P.T. Barnum Apartments unit shortly after midnight on Nov. 13, 2009.

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court here, cites the city’s Housing Authority, the Fire Department, Fire Chief Brian Rooney, Fire Marshal William Cosgrove, Mayor Bill Finch, Zoning Administrator Dennis Buckley and Building Official Peter Paajanen. It claims Black and her childrens’ death were the result of the careless and reckless behavior of city and housing authority employees for failing to provide a safe escape for the family from the flames in their home.

The family’s lawyers, Thomas Weihing and John Bochanis, declined comment on the lawsuit.

Full story here.



  1. Now Now, CHS ~~~ Da City pays our counsel damn good coinage to find those expensive outside lawyers ~~~ Give Anastasi credit where it’s damn due ~~~ at least he places the call himself ~~~ forgetaboutit.

  2. Regardless of what the family’s motivation is behind this lawsuit, I’m happy this issue will not die or get swept under the rug like the many other issues in Bridgeport. Hopefully, this will shed light on the other deathtraps in PT.

    Also, has anyone noticed the city has been doing a great job on covering up crime? There are countless crimes escaping the media scope. I understand the thought behind the lack of reporting with the anticipation of economic development. However, some light needs to be shed on how to control the crime.

  3. It was terribly sad that a mother and three kids died in a fire. Cannot overstate that … However I have a real problem with what in all likelihood is a contingency lawsuit that will probably get settled so everybody gets a payday at the expense of the city.

    The lawsuit claims careless & reckless by City and BHA for failure to provide safe escape yet when those buildings were built, they were compliant with all codes and I understand that is still the case. Also they did not have a sprinkler system, did not give them a fire extinguisher and did not provide fire safety training.

    The fire started when a legally intoxicated, 22-year0old single mother with three small kids (whole ‘nother dialogue) left a burner lit that set counter, cabinets and eventually the apartment on fire.

    Had she turned off the burner, no fire. Had she not been intoxicated and fire started, in all likelihood, she would have been able to put it out herself or immediately shepherded her children out … or even had them jump to ground from windows. Or lower them from the safety ladder.

    Again, I’m very sorry that this tragedy happened. But I fail to see how this is the City’s fault.

    Why would she not buy her own fire extinguisher? Why is it the City’s responsibility to “train” tenants? I have lived in a number of apartment buildings and the landlord was not responsible for giving training classes.

    If this building were not up to code, then the lawsuit has merit. If that’s not the case, then these tragic deaths are entirely the poor mother’s fault. Not meaning to come across as heartless, this looks like a way for relatives hiring lawyers on a contingency basis, looking for a payday from a City that would far rather settle than fight.


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