While the families of the victims in the Ghost Ship fire case did not receive any satisfactory justice on Thursday, another case is making its way to court that will attempt to hold many more than just the two defendants, Derick Almena and Max Harris, responsible.
Mary Alexander, the attorney for the families of the victims of the Ghost Ship fire, spoke outside the courtroom after the verdicts were read. While the families' civil suit names Almena and Harris, it also named many other individuals and entities, including the City of Oakland, the Oakland Fire Department, the building's landlords, and PG&E.
As KRON 4 reports, Alexander was notably disappointed in the jury's decisions, but made clear that regardless of today, her case will definitely proceed against the other defendants, and possibly these two as well.
She says the owners, the Ng family, had the "duty to make this a safe building, not Harris or Almena."
As KTVU reported in July, the civil trial is unlikely to happen before next year — and PG&E is no longer part of the case because of the utility's bankruptcy. (Families will have to file individual suits against PG&E within the bankrupty, if they wish.) Alexander says the civil trial will proceed in May.
"I think that the goal of these families is for justice," Alexander told KTVU. "It is for holding accountable those who took away the lives of their children."
Meanwhile, Almena will reappear in court on October 4 to possibly set a new date for a criminal trial.
Photo: Jim Heaphy/Wikimedia