MANHATTAN — The city and the construction firm responsible for safety lapses at the Deutsche Bank building has agreed to settle with the widow of a firefighter killed in the deadly 2007 blaze.
A story in the New York Daily News states that Linda Graffagnino, the wife of one of two firefighters that were killed in the blaze at the compromised Ground Zero building, will receive $9 million from Bovis Lend Lease, and another $1 million from the city.
Her husband, Joseph Graffagnino, died of smoke inhalation in the August 18, 2007 fire at the age of 33, leaving behind his infant son, and 3-year-old daughter. John Meringolo, the family's attorney, confirmed the figure but declined to speak about the settlement.
Another firefighter, Robert Beddia, 53, also perished.
Both rescuers entered the building to put out the flames, but soon found that the water supply to 130 Liberty Street had been shut off by the construction subcontractors working on the building.
Beddia's family settled two years ago for $6 million, according to the News.
Last year, a jury found two of the construction firm's supervisors not guilty of criminality in the deaths of the firefighters, for having allowed workers to break an emergency water pipe that ran throughout the building.
Prosecutors had argued that the 42-foot long piece of missing pipe directly caused the absense of water and the fatalities of the firefighters.
Bovis was originally hired to demolish the building, which had been severely damaged by a falling tower on September 11, 2001.
The settlement will terminate all litigation between the family and the city, but the Graffagnino family still has a bending civil suit against the subcontractor firm, John Galt Corp, the News noted.
The entire deal is outlined in papers filed at Manhattan Surrogate's Court, but it was not available on Sunday.
Meringolo said a Supreme Court justice must approve the settlement, but he did not expect that happen tomorrow, as reported in the News, but in a few weeks.