LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced his office has filed a lawsuit against developer GH Palmer Associates for $20 million in damages to City property allegedly caused as a result of negligence to take preventative action to mitigate the massive fire at the Da Vinci Apartments in Downtown.
“We're fighting to fully compensate the City's taxpayers for losses we allege could have been avoided had this massive building incorporated key safety measures and been better constructed," said Feuer.
The civil lawsuit names real estate developer Geoffrey H. Palmer and his company GH Palmer Associates alleging the company created a fire hazard at the Da Vinci Apartments located at 900 West Temple by failing to property maintain, construct and manage the property according to code. The lawsuit seeks $20 million in compensatory damages associated with the fire.
The lawsuit alleges GH Palmer Associates used improper and defective construction methods including: failing to have an appropriate fire protection plan; failing to compartmentalize construction; failing to property install fire walls or doors; having an appropriate water supply for fire suppression; and failing to have appropriate security measures that would prevent incursion by unwanted individuals.
On December 8, 2014, a massive fire broke out at the construction site of the Da Vinci Apartments. The giant blaze, facilitated by combustible material including fully exposed wood framing several stories high, created large plumes of smoke, a rain of ash and soot and melting heat. The resulting heat from the fire was allegedly able to travel across the street and damage neighboring properties owned and leased by the City of Los Angeles. The City also incurred extensive water damages due to fire sprinkler activation and firefighting activities needed to prevent the fire from spreading.
Deputy City Attorney Eric Brown and Deputy City Attorney Patricia Ursea are handling the case.