On May 25, 2017, Sommers Schwartz attorney Matthew Turner filed a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate of a 52-year-old husband and father who died in June 2016 trying to escape from a building fire in Imlay City, Michigan. According to the complaint, the decedent worked at his brother’s restaurant and lived in the basement of the premises where the restaurant was located. The brother rented the building from the defendant owners, who hired the defendant realty company to manage the building. The defendants knew that the decedent was living in the basement. When a fire broke out in a wood storage shed adjacent to the building (a known gathering place for people to smoke), he could not escape because the exit to the outside was blocked by the shed, in violation of local building codes. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants’ violation of local ordinances, failure to ensure the operation of working smoke alarms in the basement, failure to seek permits for the adjacent structure, creating a fire hazard by allowing people to smoke next to the wood shed, and failure to inspect and maintain the safety of the property resulted in the decedent’s wrongful death. The case is currently pending in Lapeer County, Michigan Circuit Court.