Apartment complex sued by tenants over fire settles lawsuit

By Elizabeth Fitzsousa | Feb 18, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – Residents who sued the owners of the apartment complex they were living in when it was destroyed by fire have received a settlement.

Krystal Benson, individually and on behalf of her minor children; Ashley Pleasant, individually and on behalf of her minor child; Christopher Estes Sr. and Sheila Ellsworth sued 4254 Maple Leaf Drive LLC and Admiral Insurance Company in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Dec. 3, 2013.

The petitioners claim that on Dec. 30, 2012 their residences at Audubon Pointe Apartments located at 4254 Maple Leaf Drive in New Orleans sustained considerable fire damage. The subsequent investigation revealed that a faulty air conditioning unit was the cause of the fire. Defendants’ employees were made aware or were informed of the faulty nature of the equipment but failed to act or knowingly installed a defective component part which cause the fire that severely disrupted the plaintiff’s lives and destroyed all their possessions, the suit claimed. As a result of the fire, Benson and her children and Pleasant and her family allegedly lost all of their possessions and sustained serious personal injuries that required months of medical treatment. Admiral Insurance had a policy for in place for Maple Leaf Drive Admiral Insurance has engaged Trinity Insurance Services to assist.

The plaintiffs allege the cause of the fire was the negligence of the defendant in failing to maintain its rental property.

On Jan. 22, while admitting no liability or fault, but in an effort to avoid the risk of litigation and in the interest of compromise the defendants agreed to a settlement for an undisclosed amount.

The case was assigned to Division G Judge Robin M. Giarrusso.

Case no. 2013-11254.

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