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Legal Action Taken Against Summerville Apartment Complex Owners Following Tragic Fire Incident

Summerville, S.C. - The devastating apartment complex fire that claimed the lives of Freni Hazare, 48, and her 15-year-old son Dhruv Chokshi has prompted legal action by their family against the owners of the Summerville Station apartment complex.

The complaint was officially filed on May 30, on behalf of Devan Chokshi, Hazare's older son, and Vatsal Chokshi, Dhruv's father. The managing entities named in the lawsuit include Summerville Station, Beach Corporation/Company/Real Estate, Lincoln Property Company, as well as unidentified corporations. The Chokshis are represented by attorneys Jason S. Stevens and Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

The lawsuit alleges that the apartment complex owners failed to fulfill their duties and responsibilities in managing and maintaining the property, thus compromising the safety of Hazare and Dhruv. Among the complaints outlined in the legal filing are issues related to fire extinguishers, malfunctioning smoke detectors, and doors and windows that were unable to open. Notably, the complaint highlights that the fire extinguishers in Hazare and Dhruv's building had been stolen and not replaced.

The fire, which occurred in September, engulfed a significant portion of Building B and affected parts of Buildings A and C. While the cause of the fire remains unknown at the time of the lawsuit filing, the complaint emphasizes that Hazare and Dhruv's unit was not the point of origin and they were not responsible for the fire.

Disturbing details from the 911 calls suggest that Dhruv witnessed his mother's tragic demise as she burned to death. Despite the dispatcher's instructions to move towards the window in his bedroom, Dhruv was unable to open it and ultimately suffered the same fate. The lawsuit seeks to address the immense emotional trauma experienced by the surviving family members, including the loss of care, support, companionship, and economic stability resulting from the deaths of Dhruv Chokshi and Freni Hazare.

The complaint asserts several legal claims against the apartment complex owners, including negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se in survival and wrongful death actions, violation of the South Carolina Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. It further alleges that the decedents were denied adequate protection, security, and proper warning from functioning fire and smoke alarms. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to provide essential means of escape, such as functional windows, due to them being screwed shut, painted shut, or altered, thereby preventing Hazare and Dhruv from safely exiting the building.

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