Greek Wildland Fire Prompts Lawsuit

A wildland fire that claimed the lives of at least 91 people in the Greek village of Mati on July 23, has already sparked a lawsuit by the relatives of two of the victims.  The victims, 70-year-old Vassilis Katsargyris and 73-year-old Maria Pagomenou were trying to evacuate their home in the neighborhood of Neos Voutzas when they were trapped by the fire.

The suit accuses governmental officials of responsibility for their deaths including what Reuters claimed was “criminal charges such as involuntary manslaughter, bodily harm, exposure that led to death and arson in the ‘biblical catastrophe’ blaze.” AP is reporting that the suit blames “Greek officials for their response to the disaster, accusing them of negligent manslaughter and felony counts of exposing people to danger.”

The suit names Greece’s civil protection general secretary, the local regional governor, a local mayor, officials in the regional civil protection office, and the fire and police departments. A prosecutor has already been assigned to investigate the fire’s cause and the role of authorities in responding to the blaze.

Here is the Reuters story.

Here is the AP story.

Here is the Dailymail.com story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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