Settlement reached in fatal Christmas fire lawsuit

In this Jan. 5, 2012, photo, Matthew Badger, left, and Madonna Badger, the parents of three children that were killed in a fire, react as their caskets are carried into a church during the funeral in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/ WTNH) — A lawsuit filed against a Connecticut city by the family of three little girls who died in a house fire on Christmas morning in 2011 has been settled.

Stamford legal affairs director Kathryn Emmett announced the settlement late Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed, but include a $250,000 donation from the city to a charity or school to be determined.

Jury selection had started and the trial was expected to begin this month.

Related: Jury selection to begin in deadly Christmas fire case

The fire killed 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, 9-year-old Lily Badger, and their maternal grandparents.

ap96968175505 Settlement reached in fatal Christmas fire lawsuit
In this Dec. 25, 2011, photo, firefighters investigate a house in Stamford, Conn., where an early morning fire left five people dead. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

The girls’ father, Matthew Badger, sued on their behalf, saying the city failed to properly inspect renovations at the home.

Related: Father of 3 girls killed in 2011 Christmas fire dies at 51

He died in February and his brother took over as executor.

The fire was blamed on fireplace ashes left in a mudroom.

The City of Stamford and Campbell Badger, the Administrator of the estates of the Badger children, released the following joint statement on the case:

Campbell Badger, the City of Stamford, Ernest Orgera, and Robert DeMarco have reached a settlement during a private mediation of the cases arising out of the tragic Christmas 2011 fire that killed Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger and their grandparents. The parties consider the settlement to be fair. The claims were resolved without reflecting any liability or fault on the part of the defendants.

The City is sympathetic to the tremendous losses suffered by the Badger family. Understanding the family’s concern that the demolition of the house prevented them from being able to conduct their own investigation of the cause of the fire, the City has agreed to address the circumstances under which a fire ravaged home can be demolished.

‘I appreciate that the Stamford defendants have agreed to resolve this case,’ said Campbell Badger, Administrator of the estates of the three girls. ‘This has been a great ordeal for my brother, for Madonna Badger, and for my entire family.’ Campbell Badger replaced his brother, Matthew Badger, as administrator, after Matthew Badger’s recent and untimely death.

As part of the resolution of the case, Stamford will pay an undisclosed financial settlement to the estates. Stamford will also contribute $250,000 to fund a scholarship at a school to be determined or some other charity of Mr. Badger’s choice recognizing Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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