Fire deaths in Maine turn media attention to building safety

Attorney Michael Bigos of the Berman & Simmons law firm spoke with reporters from several media outlets this week about the settlements he negotiated in the wrongful death cases of Michael Moore and James Ford.

Moore, 23, and his friend and roommate Ford, 21, were killed by a fire that was set at 35 Main St. in Biddeford, Maine, on Sept. 18, 2014. According to the state Fire Marshal’s Office, there were more than 20 safety violations at the building.

Attorney Bigos represented the families of the victims in civil lawsuits against landlord Nielsen Clark. Those claims were recently settled for a confidential amount, and the cases have been formally dismissed at U.S. District Court in Portland.

You can read the Berman & Simmons news release on the settlements. You can also click on the links to read or watch the media coverage:

In his interviews with media outlets this week, Bigos spoke about the grief that the families continue to endure, and their desire to bring attention to the lack of safety code compliance by landlords around the state.

“We wanted to improve the housing safety of all people in Maine by bringing code compliance into the public spotlight. Tenants deserve safe housing and landlords who comply with fire and building codes, plus adequate oversight by towns and cities,” Bigos said.

James Ford, Michael Moore

Attorney Michael Bigos, Berman & Simmons