Judge allows firefighter’s widow to sue the city over movie set fire
The widow of a firefighter killed on the set of Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” film may proceed with a lawsuit against the city — despite missing a deadline, a judge has ruled.
Eileen Davidson in May asked a judge to allow her to file a late Notice of Claim alerting the city that she planned to sue for not providing her late husband, Michael, with a safe working environment.
Davidson claimed that she didn’t sue the city earlier because she didn’t yet have details from a recent fire inspection report that, she claims, shows the city was culpable in her husband’s death.
The city fought the request, arguing that it couldn’t be held accountable for not providing a safe work environment as the job of a firefighter is inherently dangerous and a burning building couldn’t be considered a place of work.
But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler granted Davidson’s request last Thursday, according to new court papers filed Monday.
Davidson and tenants of the building where the fire broke out have already filed a series of lawsuits against the building owner and production company Class 5 Inc.
The movie, which stars Bruce Willis, was being shot at 773 St. Nicholas Ave. when the fire broke out in the basement on March 22, 2018.
The 37-year-old Bravest ran out of air while fighting the five-alarm inferno and collapsed inside the building and died a short time later.
Davidson’s lawyer, Vito Cannavo, said they plan to file the lawsuit this week.
“Mrs. Davidson is pleased that the court has granted her permission to explore the city’s involvement in her husband’s death,” Cannavo said, adding that he hopes it will prompt the city “to inspect these premises before they allow a movie production to take place in the future.”
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