A St. Louis federal judge awarded the mother of 3 children who died in a 2009 fire the majority of a $45,000 settlement yesterday. Candice Bishop, the mother of the 3 children killed in the fire, was awarded $35,000, while the father was awarded $10,000. The federal lawsuit was against the company who owned the apartment complex where the fire occurred.
The mother had argued that the father was not entitled to any of the money, because he is to blame for the deaths of her children. Bishop has another Missouri wrongful death case pending in St. Louis County Circuit Court against the father and the children’s grandmother, because she alleges that they disconnected a smoke alarm that would have saved her children’s lives. She also alleges they started the fire and did not get the children out in time. Both the children’s father and grandmother suffered burns in the fire.
Smoke alarms are essential in homes to prevent personal injuries or death as a result of fire. Children have a death rate of twice that of adults in home fires. Smoke alarms should be on every floor of your house, and should be mounted high on the wall. Remember to test the smoke alarms’ batteries monthly, and replace the batteries once a year.