Montreal Fire Tragedy Sparks Multi-Million Dollar Legal Battle


In a tragic incident that claimed seven lives in the incendiary accident in Old Montreal last year, Emile Benamor, the proprietor of the ill-fated building, has filed a lawsuit against the municipal administration demanding a massive $7.6 million settlement. According to Benamor, the stringent regulations imposed by the city councils, mandated to conserve heritage properties, remained an insurmountable hindrance to effect requisite modifications and repair work on the building.

Additionally, in what can be considered as an audacious move, Benamor chose to litigate further against the firefighters’ operations on that ill-starred day of March 16. He holds the firefighting personnel culpable for their alleged inadequate responsive measures and an apparent disregard for the information he provided regarding the likely presence of individuals in the building minutes post the ignition.

Compounding the legal challenge, he has also initiated a defamation suit against prominent municipal authorities, the mayor not excluded, attributing blame for denigratory comments spewed in the wake of the destructive fire.

Parallel to this, the aggrieved kin of Charlie Lacroix, an 18-year-old who unfortunately lost his life in the devastating event, have charted their own legal course by submitting a $1.5-million lawsuit against Benamor, the City of Montreal and the individual managing rentals from the property.

Casting another shadow, the Montreal Police announced this August, six months after the disaster, that the blaze has graduated from being a heart-rending tragedy to a potentially intentional act of crime. This decision was made subsequent to the discovery of traces of accelerants at the scene.

In a related development earlier this year, a $22-million class action lawsuit was filed against Benamor by the family of another victim, Nathan Sears. This legal action also targeted the short-term rental platform Airbnb and the man managing the rental operations of the building.

As of now, none of the assertions staked in these multiple lawsuits have passed the legal test in court, their veracity remain to be examined and adjudicated.


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