Edward Norton's firm sued over on-set blaze that killed firefighter
Edward Norton’s production company has been sued for 7 million dollars (£5 million) over an on-set blaze that killed a firefighter.
Two tenants filed the lawsuit against Class 5 in New York on Tuesday over the fire in an apartment block used for the filming of Motherless Brooklyn, starring director Norton, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin and Willem Dafoe.
The lawsuit came as the funeral was held for Lieutenant Michael Davidson, a 37-year-old firefighter who died after tackling the blaze in Harlem on March 22.
Erica Cruz said she suffered “severe and permanent” injuries during the fire and alleged Class 5 had been “reckless, careless and negligent” by having flammable and “ultra-hazardous” materials in the building.
She also claims the firm lacked fire extinguishers, failed to warn the tenants when the fire took hold and of “misleading the tenants into believing the fire had been extinguished”.
Ms Cruz, a mother of a young child, had to “run for her life down several sets of dark stairs engulfed in smoke unable to breathe or see”, her lawyer David Jaroslawicz wrote.
She and her brother George both sued for loss of property in the apartment, which they say was destroyed by the blaze.
Lt Davidson, a married father-of-four, was overcome by smoke as he tackled the fire and died the following day. A service was held for him at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
Norton, 48, previously refuted that the fire was caused by the production in a post on Instagram.
“It appears to have started in the basement cellar of the building we were working in. We were filming in a bar and an apartment within the building and our crew noticed smoke rising up into where we were working,” he wrote.
The lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court also names building owner Vincent Sollazzo as a defendant, accusing him of keeping the building in a “hazardous condition” by failing to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.