Schenectady County

Family of Jay Street fire victim files lawsuit

The family of Jermaine Allen, who died in the massive Jay Street fire last year, recently filed a wr

The family of Jermaine Allen, who died in the massive Jay Street fire last year, recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the property owner and manager of 104 Jay St.

Heather Rollins, the mother of Allen’s young son, Jarrell Allen, is suing the property owner and manager of the former apartment building for $600,000 in damages.

The suit was filed in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County on March 15. Rollins has retained Troy attorney E. Stewart Jones.

Rollins previously filed a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, against the city of Schenectady.

Rollins’ lawsuit is alleging wrongful death due to “the negligence of the defendants in their ownership, service, repair, management, monitoring, inspection, notice to and communication with tenants all with respect to the subject building.”

Allen, 37, died in the March 6, 2015 fire at 104 Jay St., which quickly spread to neighboring 100-102 Jay St. The accidental fire started in the fourth floor apartment of Harry Simpson, 59.

Simpson also died in the blaze as well as Robert Thomas, 31, and Allen’s girlfriend Berenices Suarez, 33. Suarez and Allen lived together at 104 Jay St., according to friends.

The property at 104 Jay St. is owned by Ted Gounaris of Nassau County. The building, which has since been demolished, was managed by Ideal Property Services, located on the Jay Street Marketplace.

The families of Suarez and Thomas also filed lawsuits against the owner and manager of the building along with notices of claims against the city. The city inspected all 20 units of 104 Jay St. the day before the fire. Code documents related to the building, and the building next door, have been sealed as an investigation is ongoing by the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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