House Owner Liable for $1.3 Million in Damages for Fire-Related Death
In November 2013, 24-year-old Alisha Lamers lost her life in a fire that consumed the basement apartment in which she resided. The fire occurred in an illegal rooming house located in Toronto, where she had lived for just over one month, leaving her landlord liable for damages related to her death.
Alisha’s Injuries Led to her Death
As a result of the fire, Alisha suffered two cardiac arrests during her transport to Toronto Western Hospital, extensive 2nd and 3rd-degree burns over more than half of her body, and suffered extensive brain injuries.
An investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal revealed numerous safety issues in the building. Their report noted that the structure illegally lacked:
- Adequate fire separations
- A means of egress
- Smoke alarms
- Have a safety plan that was “prepared, approved, and implemented in the building”
- Maintain smoke alarms in operating condition
- Have at least two exits for every floor of the home
Jury Awards Parents at Trial
This wrongful death case was tried by a six-person jury who found Konstantin Lysenko, the owner of the illegal rooming house liable for the death of the young woman. In their decision, the jury emphasized that Mr. Lysenko failed to:
The jury awarded Alisha’s parents 250,000 each for damages, including the loss of care, guidance, and companionship, an additional $250,000 each for mental distress or injury, and more than $150,000 each for future costs of care. Mr. Lysenko will be held accountable for their damages, as well as owing a $60,000 fine and a $15,000 victim surcharge for not adhering to local fire codes.
Illegal Rooming Houses in Canada
Mr. Lysenko, who handled the case pro se, had no comment about the outcome of the civil case. Although, during the trial, he admitted that not removing bars on Lamers’s bedroom window was “stupid.” He later explained that Lamers wanted the bars there and that he did not know that he needed a license to operate a rooming house or that it needed to meet fire code.
Illegal rooming houses are a growing problem across Canada. Data from all jurisdictions that keep track of rooming house fires shows that during a five-year period, at least 47 deaths resulted from 532 rooming house fires.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Mississauga Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a loved one in a fire or another accident that could have been caused by the negligence of another party, make it a point to speak with an experienced Mississauga lawyer.
Schedule your wrongful death consultation today at Nanda & Associate Lawyers by calling (647)-951-6200 or use our online contact form, and we will contact you. We help clients of all nationalities and backgrounds, offering services in 15 different languages, including English, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Chinese, Italian, Telugu, and Tamil.