Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against GH Palmer Associates, the Da Vinci Apartments developer, on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Feuer stated the $20 million lawsuit is to seek compensation for Los Angeles taxpayers, who had to pay for the immense damage caused by the December 2014 fire and the water used to subdue it.
The blaze completely decimated the 75,000 square foot apartment complex and was discovered to be arson. No one was reported injured, however, the scorching fire forced authorities to close two nearby freeways, and the intense heat contributed to at least 160 windows shattering at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, as well as damaging two other buildings. The blaze took 250 firefighters, 90 minutes to put out and caused in between $20-30 million in damage.
The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of a 56-year-old Los Angeles taxi driver, Dawud Abdulwali, who had been originally arrested during a traffic stop. He has pled not guilty. Nonetheless, the lawsuit maintains the fault lies with the project developer, Geffrey H. Palmer, of GH Palmer Associates.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Palmer and his corporation failed to install the required safety measures, such as a fire protection plan. The complex did not have an adequate water supply. The developer did not install fire-safe walls and doors nor did they have any security in place to prevent someone from setting the fire on the unfinished property.
Feuer says that this whole incident could have been prevented if the developer had taken the necessary precautions, and he believes the developer should be responsible for compensating Los Angeles taxpayers for the damage that had occurred. GH Palmer Associates made any statements regarding the lawsuit.
By Juanita Lewis
Edited by Cathy Milne
The L.A. Times: L.A. files $20-million lawsuit against Da Vinci Apartments developer over huge downtown fire
KTLA 5: Man Charged With Arson in Massive Da Vinci Apartment Fire
KTLA 5: Man Arrested in Connection With Massive Fire at Unfinished Apartment Complex in Downtown L.A.
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