Mother of Stamford Christmas Day Fire Victims to Sue City

Madonna Badger, who also lost her own parents in the fire, intends to sue Stamford, saying city officials intentionally destroyed evidence that would earn her compensation for property loss as well as emotional and mental distress.

The mother of at their Stamford home intends to sue the city for property damage and for intentionally destroying evidence that would substantiate further compensation related to emotional and mental distress, according to legal documents filed by a Massachusetts-based attorney.

According to Statutory Notice of Claim filed with the by Rehoboth, MA-based Corso Law LLC, Madonna Badger as a result of the suffered more than $3 million in property damage, as well as "personal injury and civil rights violations arising from and as a result of the nelgigent and otherwise wrongful conduct of the City of Stamford."

The notice says specifically that city officials who the home at destroyed and removed the home and "its , appliances, meters, and other contents" resulting in "the intentional spoilation of evidence and the deprivation of remedies otherwise available to the claimant."

The notice says Badger "also sustained personal injuries, suffered extreme emotional distress and mental anguish for which she would be entitled to recover compensation from the responsible parties but for the intentional spoilation of critical and relevant evidence at the direction of the city."

The notice names two Stamford officials specifically: Chief Building Official Robert DeMarco and Director of Operations Ernie Orgera.

Stamford Director of Legal Affairs Joseph Capalbo was not immediately available for comment. Frank C. Corso, who filed the notice, declined to comment when reached by Patch, citing pending litigation.

The Stamford Christmas Day fire made international headlines and . Badger reportedly about one month after the tragedy.

Badger's notice follows a similar notice filed by her children's father, Matthew Badger , which was filed on his own behalf and on behalf of the children, Sarah, Grace and Lillian.

Madonna Badger's notice states: "Madonna Badger's damages arising from the perils of the fire, including the negligent infliction of emotional distress she endured while in the zone of danger and while attempting to rescue her children and parents are continuous and permanent."

The City of Stamford has already any action brought against it relating to the fire, including .

The complaint from Madonna Badger was filed May 29, 2012. Madonna also lost her mother and father, Pauline and Lomer Johnson, in the fire.

Here is a timeline of events from Sunday, Dec. 25:

3:00 a.m. - Shortly before or after this time, an unidentified resident of 2267 Shippan Ave., according to Stamford fire marshals, tossed a yule log that had been burning in the home's fireplace into either a trash enclosure or a mudroom on the first floor.

4:40-4:52 a.m. - A wood ember ignited at an unknown point during this time frame and spread quickly through the first floor and then to the upper floors. Homeowner Madonna Badger and her companion Michael Borcina escaped from the home and neighbors alarmed by Badger's cries for help called emergency response at 4:52 a.m.

4:58 a.m. - 's first team arrived at 2267 Shippan Ave.

"Firefighters from Engine 4 used a portable 24-foot ladder to reach a second floor roof and then climbed scaffolding to get into the home’s third floor to begin search and rescue efforts for the three children and two adults," Stamford firefighter Brendan Keatley wrote in a statement to Patch.

This team, led by SFRD captain Mark Shannon, were repelled by the heat and the heavy flame on the third floor.

5:00 a.m. - A second team of firefighters arrive and moved to extinguish the fire, which was out of control, according to Stamford fire investigators. "Forty six firefighters utilizing 12 pieces of fire apparatus" responded to the fire, Keatley said.

5-5:10 a.m. - The first response team left the home and Borcina informed them that the children may have already gone down to the second floor. The team again tried to enter and were again pushed out by the fire and flame within the home.

Another SFRD team arrived to assist with the flames, however, the possibility of rescue was already gone.

Bubba June 03, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I'm genuinely sorry for the family's loss. But what is a law suit going to prove? Perhaps that yule log shouldn't have been placed where it was. That part there, along with whoever put it there, is responsible for this tragedy.


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