Lawyers for fatal fire victims frustrated with settlement

PORTLAND, Maine - Lawyers for the six people killed in Maine's deadliest fire in four decades said Thursday the $300,000 settlement in the wrongful death lawsuits stemming from the deaths isn't enough.

The February settlement provided $45,000 for each victim's family along with $30,000 for a survivor of the 2014 Portland blaze, the Portland Press Herald reported . Landlord Gregory Nisbet was convicted of code violations.

Attorneys for the victims said they couldn't get a larger settlement because Nisbet didn't have many assets. The apartment house was insured by a fire policy but his personal home had no equity in it, they said.

Bradford Pattershall, a lawyer representing the mother of one of the victims, said the families are "very frustrated." He said lawyers in the case "couldn't find anything and we turned over every stone."

Nisbet appealed the code violations conviction last year. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments next week. He was acquitted of six counts of manslaughter at trial. The violations he was convicted of were related to safety of the apartment building where the fire broke out.

After the fire, city officials later set up a new office of housing safety, hired more inspectors and initiated stricter controls over landlords.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com


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