STAMFORD, Conn. — A lawsuit filed against the city of Stamford over the deadly Christmas Day fire in 2011 was unexpectedly settled just weeks after the death Matthew Badger, who filed the suit on behalf of his three daughters, according to the Hartford Courant.
Badger sued Stamford for demolishing the house without a outside investigations, for issuing a building permit to man without a contractor's license and for approving a renovation plan that lacked smoke detectors in his daughters' bedrooms, the Courant said. The case was slated to go to trial soon with jury selection underway when the lawsuit was settled.
The Courant said the death of Badger of natural causes in February led to the settlement of the case, which would be without its key witness.
The girls — Lily, 9, and Sarah and Grace, 7, died in the fire with their maternal grandparents Lomar and Pauline Johnson. Their mother, Madonna Badger, who owned the house, escaped the fire as did contractor Michael Borcina, who was her boyfriend at the time.
The terms of the settlement are confidential, but the city of Stamford will make a $250,000 donation to a charity or a school scholarship to be chosen by Sherwin Campbell Badger, Matthew's brother, the Courant said.
Stamford fire officials said improperly disposed of ashes from the fireplace started the deadly fire.
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