March 28, 2019
Source: Internal Release
Benson & Bingham was retained by the parents of Myriam Hernandez Estrada, a 26-year old woman that was tragically killed in an apartment fire at the Solaire Apartments complex in Las Vegas last year. Benson & Bingham has filed a wrongful death suit against Westland Real Estate, the owners of Solaire Apartments due to apparent negligence and reckless maintenance of the apartments. This wasn't the first fire at the Solaire complex, with 14 reported fires in 2017 and three reported fires in 2018, the location was a known fire threat.
The Las Vegas Valley has seen a sharp rise in apartment fires this decade, many of which are exacerbated by not enough fire safety precautions in place. One of the issues is that apartment owners are only required to maintain fire codes that were in place at the time of the building's construction. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's expose Valley of Fire regarding fire safety in rapidly aging apartment complexes:
Since 2008, 141 fires have killed 159 people in the Las Vegas Valley. Of those fires, the majority happened in older areas, where single-family homes and apartments — depending on when they were built — aren’t required to have modern safety measures and can go several years between fire inspections.
The fire appears to have come from a stretch of attic space above the apartments, although the cause of the fire wasn't determined by the Clark County Fire Department. Besides ill equipped fire remediation, the cramped quarters of the apartment complex and overall design of the structure made it more susceptible to fire risk. Unfortunately, Clark County government officials are prevented from citing apartment complexes due to antiquated laws regarding safety codes at aging buildings in the region. The fact the building had caught fires over 17 times from 2017-2018, with questionable repairs and maintenance following the incidents, only makes this tragic event even harder to fathom.
Managing Partner Joseph Benson was quoted by the Las Vegas Review Journal regarding the circumstances leading to the death of Ms. Estrada:
“We can’t prevent ALL fires. They happen. But could something have been done in terms of safety measures, preventative maintenance? I think so.”
Established in 2003, Benson & Bingham is a Nevada accident, injury and workers' compensation law firm with four law offices in the State: Downtown Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson and Reno. Benson & Bingham believes client satisfaction is paramount, maintaining this practice from initial consultation until verdict or settlement of the case.