Partial settlement for Cook Co. fire defendants

April 22, 2008 3:00:43 PM PDT
A partial settlement has been reached in the county building fire of 2003. Six people died after getting trapped in a stairwell when the fire broke out on the 12th floor of the Loop high rise.

The families of three of the six people killed and the four of the 16 people injured have filed lawsuits against Cook County, the city and the building management company.

Six of the defendants in the case have already agreed to pay a total of $26 million as part of a lawsuit.

Cook County and two security companies were among the defendants that settled today.

"The county was presented with an opportunity whereby it could protect the taxpayers as best it could by settling this case, resolving it now for an amount that's within its insurance limits," said an attorney for Cook Co.

"I'm appreciative on behalf of the families of the good faith effort that is being made by the lawyers and the corporation consul's office," said Robert Clifford, plaintiffs' attorney.

The city of Chicago, the 69 West building management and the contractor in charge of renovation on the floor where the fire started remain as defendants.

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