UPDATE: Chicago, county, firms to pay $100 million to settle suits in 2003 Chicago high-rise fire
Environmental Systems Design, Chicago, and SimplexGrinnell, Boca Raton, Fla., among the defendants. City of Chicago to pay $50 million.
Victims of the fatal 2003 Cook County Administration Building fire have settled lawsuits for a combined $100 million, their attorneys announced today. The victims will
The money will be split among the families of six office workers who were killed in the 2003 fire at the Cook County Administration Building, 69 W. Washington St., and 16 others who were injured.
Last week, the settlement reached $25 million from Cook County and six defendants. The remaining $75 million includes the final three defendants, including the City of Chicago.
County officials admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
The settlements reached
The two firms continue to maintain their employees acted properly, said their attorney, Edward Murphy.
Four other defendants who settled
A spokesperson for Environmental Systems Design said the firm is making no comments
In 22 lawsuits, the plaintiffs targeted what they allege were a series of mistakes by firefighters and the city's 911 operators, including poor communication and a failure to designate one stairwell for firefighting and one for evacuation. The workers died in the fire on Oct. 17, 2003, after they became trapped in a stairwell with self-locking doors. Smoke poured up into the stairwell as firefighters battled the blaze on the 12th floor below.
View coverage of the fire at the Chicago Tribune, including evacuation order charts, smoke tower graphics, and more.