Apartment Complex Designates Responsible Third Party and Unknown “John Doe” for Fire that Left 5 Dead and Other Severely Burned

In the early morning hours of July 20, 2018, a fire broke out at the Iconic Village Apartments near Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas that killed five residents and left another 22 year-old man with third-degree burns on nearly 70 percent of his body. Last week, for the first time since suit was filed, the apartment complex now seeks to blame a third party individual and unknown “John Doe” for causing the blaze.

At the hearing, the apartment’s defense lawyers argued that one of the victims made statements to third parties that she suspected her ex-boyfriend, Ryon Castro, of intentionally starting the fire. The defense team has also designated an unknown person for being responsible for the fire as well. Castro has not been arrested or charged for any involvement in the subject blaze, nor do law enforcement agencies state Castro is subject to their ongoing investigation.

Defendants often times designate responsible third parties as a vehicle to shift blame and reduce their potential exposure to liability at trial. Under current Texas law, the threshold to designate responsible third parties is extremely low, but is not a guarantee that defendants can ultimately blame other parties at trial. It is all the more important that injured victims hire skilled legal counsel who understand the procedural mechanics of this defense strategy to proactively and intentionally attack the grounds on which defendants seek to blame other parties.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, call Abraham Watkins today. It is imperative that you find a law firm to manage your claim as soon as possible following an incident of this nature. Further, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling these cases to ensure that companies are held fully accountable. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211 for your free consultation.