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Texas City Fire Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Photo of Brant Stogner

Texas City senior living apartment complex, Colonial Park Apartments, suffered a fatal fire on April 7, 2010. In that blaze, Melody Fitzgerald Rivera, 52, lost her life after the fire erupted in her room. The fire spread through the complex while Rivera was asleep in her room. Firefighters were onsite by 1:30 a.m. and able to stop the spread of the fire. However, Rivera, a Colonial Park resident, suffered third-degree burns to over sixty five percent (65%) of her body. Rivera was admitted to The University of Texas Medical Branch's (UTMB's) burn unit and underwent several skin grafting procedures prior to passing from sepsis.

Rivera's children, Clifford Ray Trapani and Wendy Gail Trapani Andersen, have filed wrongful death suits in Galveston County Probate Court against the apartment complex and its management company. According to the lawsuit, the fire started in a mechanical closet which housed the apartment complex's heating and cooling unit. The lawsuit further alleges that the closets configuration and the improper use of the power cord caused electrical failure and ignition. The lawsuit is seeking maximum damages of $25 million.

If you or someone you know has been injured on property where the owners failed to provide a reasonably safe environment or proper maintenance of property, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

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