As reported in the June 2, 2014 edition of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Jeffrey N. Catalano and Eric I. Asquith, attorneys with Todd & Weld LLP, obtained a settlement of $260,000 for a student who sustained multiple injuries when fleeing from a fire that broke out in a home being rented illegally by seven college students. Their client, who was a guest, jumped from the second floor and broke her back and injured her ankle, in addition to sustaining burn and smoke inhalation injuries.
The plaintiff claimed that the home was in violation of Boston zoning codes and other state codes and regulations. The plaintiff argued that if the regulations had been followed, fire detection and suppression systems and safer means of egress in the case of fire would have allowed her to safely exit the home during the fire. The defendants argued that the home was not a lodging house, as held in City of Worcester v. College Hill.
The parties agreed to mediate the claim. The settlement included the full amount of the homeowner's insurance policy.