In 1991 David Randolph Smith obtained the then largest wrongful death verdict in Williamson County, Tennesse history ($960,000.00) in a case involving the death of a teenage worker in a massive warehouse fire at the Jewell Tobacco Warehouse in Franklin, Tennessee. Mr. Smith has since prosecuted a number of fatal fire cases involving premises and product defects Kentucky and Tennessee.
NHC Nursing Home Fire Litigation & Settlements
The firm served as lead counsel in the tragic NHC Nursing Home fire (Sept. 23, 2003) that resulted in seventeen deaths and substantial confidential settlements.
On October 14, 2004 Mr. Smith announced settlements in 28 of the the 32 cases. The firm settled the death cases and injury cases for confidential amounts after weeks of mediation. The NHC fire was a sentinel event in nursing home safety and has directly led to changes in fire safety in nursing homes nationwide.The federal Government (GAO) published an extensive report on nursing home fire safety and federal legislation (Nursing Home Fire Safety Act of 2004 (H.R. 4987)) was introduced following the fire.
If you have questions about a potential fire case, please contact our offices toll-free (1.880.394.2119) for a free and confidential evaluation of your case today.
Fires & Burn Injuries
Fires cause more deaths in the U.S. than all natural disasters combined annually. Often fires are the result of negligence, defectively designed products or faulty building. In 2006, the most current year with data from the United States Fire Administration (USFA), 1.6 million fires were reported with $11.3 billion in property losses.
We represents persons seriously injured in fires and explosions, and the families of loved ones who died. For information on the tragic NHC Nursing Home fire, click here.
Legal Rights of the Injured
The law in most states provides individuals with legal claims and the right to compensation for fire-related injuries they suffer as a result of a defective product or the negligence of another. Burn survivors and other victims of fires may file lawsuits seeking compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost past and future wages and punitive damages.
Types of Fires
Home & Residential Structure Fires - Devastating Fires at Home
Residential house fires account for 81% of fire-related deaths and 79% of injuries in the U.S. (Data from 2006, the latest year with available data). For a ten year period beginning in 1997, an average of over 3,000 civilians were killed and another 15,340 were injured annually as the result of residential structure fires.
Residential structures fires encompass fires that occur in places where people live such as one- and two-family dwellings (including manufactured homes), apartments, hotels, motels, college dormitories and boarding houses. Learn more...
Non-Residential Structure Fires - Fires at Businesses
Nonresidential structures include educational, institutional, public assembly, stores and offices, industry, utility, defense, storage in structures, and other buildings were people gather for school, work, entertainment or other activities.
While fire safety measures like overhead sprinklers and fire stairwells have gone far in reducing deaths and injuries from fires in non-residential buildings, poor building management, hazardous work practices, non-compliance with municipal fire codes or improper action from emergency response personnel can still place lives at risk. Learn more...
Vehicle Fires - Car, Truck, SUV and other Automobile Fires
Vehicle fires can be started by defective gas tanks which explode during collisions, faulty cruise control switches which can spark and various other causes but can easily spread to homes or other structures, causing significant property damage as well as severe danger to human life.
Outdoor Fires - Large-scale Fire Disasters and Wildfires in Suburban & Rural Areas
Fires outdoors can spread quickly, destroying wild habitats and farmland, and even homes and businesses. Wildland-urban interface fires often result from the negligence of utility companies in failing to properly maintain power lines and adjacent vegetation, and are thus the direct result of another's negligence or failure to act.
How Fires Are Investigated
Fires are often complex events whose origins and cause are difficult to determine. Because of their destructive nature, fires consume the evidence of their initiation and progress. But despite the difficulties surrounding an investigation it is often possible to for trained individuals to determine the cause of a devastating fire. Learn more...
What You Should Know
Fire cases require experience and the use of cause and origin fire experts, building and fire code experts, engineers and accident reconstruction experts. It is vital to obtain legal counsel early on to gather important fire scene evidence and interview witnesses and obtain their statements.
We have used leading national fire safety experts (for example Koffel & Associates from Baltimore, Maryland in the NHC Nursing Home fire litigation) as well as product safety experts and engineers to successfully prosecute fire cases involving dormitory fires, house fires, vehicle fires and commercial buildings (warehouses and nursing home).
Fire cases tragically also involve serious burn injuries -- often from explosions or backdrafts. Our expertise in medical litigation (Mr. Smith is one of only 10 attorneys who is Board Certified in Medical Malpractice Litigation) ensures that damages experts and life care plans will be presented in a thorough and professional manner.
Our approach to fire litigaton begins not at the courthouse, but at the scene of the fire. With extensive experience in fire investigations, we provide valuable advice to clients and experts at the critical, early stages of fire scene examination when key evidence can be lost or mishandled. We have close working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement and fire service officials, independent origin and cause investigators and engineers. If you are seeking a Tennessee fire attorney, we would be pleased to hear from you.