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On Tuesday, families related to those who lost their lives or were severely injured in the Bronx inferno, filed a lawsuit against the owners of the building alleging safety violations that led to the deaths of 17 people.

Five lawsuits were filed on Tuesday by Benjamin Crump, a high-profile civil rights attorney based in Florida, and the New York law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, on behalf of the families. Several relatives of the fire victims spoke at the news conference announcing the lawsuits, in order to express frustration over the uncertainties spawned by the fire as they look for new places to live. Some remain in hotel rooms.

Source: Al Jazeera [Seth Wenig/AP Photo]

“We have a lot of the families who paid such a tragic loss in the apartment fire,” Crump said during a news conference outside the building, saying that violations of city safety rules “caused unspeakable loss of life and injury to these families, mostly from Africa.”

“These Black families who lost so much that seem to be marginalized not only before the tragic fire broke out, but even in the aftermath,” Crump added.

The lawsuits, filed in Superior Court in the Bronx, names Bronx Park Phase III Preservation, the Bronx Phase III Housing Co., and three investment groups as defendants. The lawsuit does not specify any monetary damages being sought, nor does it mention any specific safety violations. But another attorney for the families, Larry Goldhirsch, said those specifics will be identified in the coming weeks — including malfunctioning door springs and windows that could not open.

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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