Williams v. Housing Authority of City of BridgeportAnnotate this Case
In this case arising from four deaths from a house fire the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court concluding that a jury reasonably could find that the municipal defendants were potentially liable pursuant to Connecticut’s municipal liability statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-557n(b)(8).
A mother and her three children lost their lives in a fire in a Bridgeport public housing complex. Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 29-305(b), the Bridgeport fire marshal’s office is required to conduct annual inspections of all multifamily residential units within Bridgeport. Plaintiff brought this action against the Bridgeport Fire Department and five Bridgeport city officials alleging that the decedents died as a result of Defendants’ negligent failure to inspect the smoke detection equipment in their unit for compliance with applicable fire safety regulations and codes. The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that section 52-557n afforded them immunity. The Appellate Court reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a jury, considering all of the relevant circumstances, reasonably could find that Defendants demonstrated “a reckless disregard for health or safety under all the relevant circumstances,” and therefore, that they were potentially liable under section 52-557n(b)(8).