Oakland Settles Claims from Ghost Ship Fire for $32.7 Million

The City of Oakland has agreed to pay $32.7 million to settle a mass tort suit arising out of the Ghost Ship Fire. The December 2, 2016 fire in a converted warehouse claimed the lives of 36 concert-goers and injured scores of others.

The lawsuit alleged that city, county and state officials were aware of fire and building code deficiencies in the warehouse and that it was being used as a place of assembly, but failed to address the problems. Those deficiencies included inadequate means of egress, lack of emergency lighting, lack of an adequate fire alarm system, lack of an effective sprinkler system, and electrical problems. More on the original filing.

According to NBC Bay Area, $23.5 million of the settlement will go to the families of victims who died, and $9.2 million will go to Sam Maxwell, who survived but suffered catastrophic injuries.

More on the settlement.

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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