Oakland, CA –Today the Oakland City Council authorized settlement of the lawsuits filed on behalf of 32 of the 36 people who tragically lost their lives in the December 2016 Ghost Ship fire. The total settlement is $32.7 million. The settlement will be allocated, with $23.5 million for the families of the fire victims who perished, and $9.2 million for plaintiff Sam Maxwell, who survived the fire but will live with severe, lifelong injuries and major medical expenses.
This was a horrific tragedy that deeply impacted every corner of our community. Mayor Schaaf, the City Council, City Attorney and City Administrator express their deepest sympathies to Mr. Maxwell and the families, whose losses are unimaginable.
The City continues to assert, as the agreement provides, that it is not liable for these tragic losses. The City decided to settle this case because of the cost-benefit analysis. The City’s total insurance coverage is $22 million. The criminal case against the Master Leaseholder of the warehouse, Derick Almena, is ongoing, and a retrial is scheduled to begin in October 2020.