HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Four and a half years after one of the worst Christmas Day tragedies in Connecticut history, the legal case can now proceed.
Three young children and their grandparents were killed in the Stamford fire early on Christmas morning in 2011. The legal case against the city now hinges on the contractor that was working and living in the house with the mother of the children.
“Counsel are working out some dates when he…when he’ll be available to be deposed and when they’ll be available to be deposed,” announced Hartford Superior Court Judge Grant Miller during an appearance in the courtroom that lasted just minutes. It followed a closed door meeting of a battery of lawyers with the judge for more than an hour.
‘He’ is Michael Borcina, the contractor that was working on the Shippan Street century old home, and living with the mother of the three children killed in the fire, along with their maternal grandparents. The children’s father, Matthew Badger, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming Borcina’s renovation was at fault and made the home a “firetrap.”
The city says it can’t defend itself without Borcina’s testimony and building documents.
Following the hearing Borcina’s lawyer, Attorney Robert Laney said, “My client will be available for his deposition, he’s already sat through three days of testimony so he’ll sit through a fourth and we’ve worked all the issues out.” Laney also says Borcina will produce the documents he can, and contrary to published reports, is not missing.
Complicating the case is the fact that Borcina originally said he placed ashes from a fire in a paper bag in a mud room, which authorities say was the cause of the blaze. He has since recanted that story and says the ashes were placed in the mud room by the mother of the children, Madonna Badger. Borcina says he lied in order to protect the mother.
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Judge Miller says that Thursday’s agreement should allow litigation in this very sad case to go more smoothly.