The family that owns the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, California has filed for bankruptcy to settle a lawsuit against them, reports Kron 4 news. Around 5 years ago, a fire broke out at the warehouse killing 36 people and injuring numerous others. The Ng family will pay around $11.8 million to the survivors and families of lost ones. But the victims’ families were disappointed that the Ng family was not criminally charged.
“The families really wanted to see the Ng’s charged criminally and be held responsible for letting this building be such a fire trap, for having people living there and for unpermitted events and so this civil suit though the amount of money is not enough to compensate them fully, but at least it’s some sense of justice,” Attorney Mary Alexander who represents 13 of the families and numerous survivors said.
On December 2, 2016, a fire broke out at the Ghost Ship warehouse while it was hosting a concert for a record label. Around 100 people attended the concert and 36 people were killed in the fire. The warehouse was not legally allowed for residential and entertainment purposes. It was only zoned for industrial purposes.
Chor Ng leased the warehouse to Derick Almena who lived on the second floor and illegally sublet the first floor to about 20 artists. Authorities warned Almena that the warehouse was a fire hazard but he ignored them. Almena also told police that no one lived in the building. It is unclear what caused the fire that destroyed the warehouse but officials said it appeared to be electrical in nature.
Almena pleaded guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 12 years but the deal allowed him to serve the rest of his sentence at home with an ankle monitor.
The victims’ and their families sued “Chor Near Siu Ng and her children Eva Ng and Kai Nag along with the city of Oakland, PG&E, party promoters and master tenant Derick Almena,” according to The Oakland Side.
The city of Oakland paid $23.5 million to the victims. It is unclear what the other defendants paid.
However, the Ng family will pay $11.8 million with insurance and the sale of their properties.