Old Port fire: Father of one of victims files lawsuit for more than $22 million

Old Port fire: Father of one of victims files lawsuit for more than $22 million

The father of one of the victims of the Old Montreal fire that killed seven people, a lawyer has filed a more than $22 million class action against the building’s owner, the contractor who rented the units there and Airbnb for allowing illegal rentals. That led to this tragedy.

• Read more: Airbnb: Owners will not hesitate to circumvent the rules for illegally renting out their accommodation.

• Read more: Fire in Old Montreal: Last two bodies identified, search ends

• Read more: Fire in Old Montreal: Fifth casualty from the ruins

“Their behavior demonstrates that they were more concerned with generating revenue than ensuring health and safety [des personnes dans l’immeuble]Randy Sears says in his class action claim filed this morning in a Montreal court.

Mr. lives in New Brunswick. Sears is the father of Nathan Sears, a 35-year-old doctoral student who died in the deadly fire in Old Montreal on March 16.

Tragic deaths

That day, political scientist Nathan Sears was in town for an international research conference. For accommodation, he chose the site Airbnb, which led him to this building owned by lawyer Emilie-Haim Benamore.

A devastating fire broke out in the early hours of the morning with 22 people inside. Six managed to escape in time, and nine others were injured. In addition to the fact that the rooms had no windows, seven people died in the fire, including Nathan Sears.

“Nathan Sears was a husband, a son, a brother,” his father lamented in court documents.

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Also, people should take responsibility for this tragedy, starting with the owner of the building.

“[Me Benamor] Failed in its duty to ensure that rented units meet minimum health and safety standards […]Including building code and fire hazard provisions”, we read in the court document.

Airbnb was also targeted

The lawyer was accused of allowing rentals on the Airbnb platform at this location, which he “knew or should have known” was illegal in the area.

The class action claim is included in a civil suit targeting Tariq Hassan, who is allegedly negligent in renting units in the building. Airbnb, for its part, was accused of not doing any verification to determine whether the locations were safe or to confirm the legality of the advertising that appeared on its platform.

Mr. Sears is seeking $22 million from them, to be split between the building’s occupants and their estates. [pour les défunts] and families. But he is also seeking an additional amount which is not calculated as compensation.

The request will soon be presented to a Superior Court judge, who will decide whether to allow the class action to proceed.

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