Estate of Summers v. NisbetAnnotate this Case
Five suits filed against Nisbet, the owner of an apartment building where several people died in a 2014 fire, make claims for wrongful death, alleging that the property was in a state of general disrepair with no working smoke detectors, a second means of egress (a back staircase) was impassable, the building contained an illegal third-floor apartment, the property violated fire codes, and Nisbet allowed the storage of combustible materials on the property. With its complaint, filed several weeks before the others, the Estate of Summers requested, and the court granted, attachment and trustee process against Nisbet, on an ex parte basis, in the amount of $1.7 million. Nisbet did not challenge the attachment. The other estates then moved for attachment and trustee process. Nisbet did not oppose those requests, but they had not yet been granted when the other estates successfully moved to dissolve the Estate of Summers’s attachment order on grounds that the required showing to obtain the attachment on an ex parte basis had not been made.The court simultaneously granted attachments in favor of all five estates. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order to the extent that it dissolved the attachment issued after ex parte process and declined to effectuate that attachment as of its original date of entry.