In September 2012, Suzanne Donovan and her 6-year-old daughter died in a fire which burned through the converted farmhouse in which they resided. The farmhouse had been converted into five apartments. All of the apartments were completely destroyed by the fire.
The suit claims that the landlords were negligent in failing to install working smoke detectors in the apartments.
The surviving family members claimed that Mrs. Donovan had complained to the apartment owner several times about the fact that the apartment did not contain a working smoke detector.
Mrs. Donovan and her daughter had gone to bed early because the child was starting school the next day.
The lawsuit claims that the two victims could have been alerted to the fire and would have escaped successfully had working smoke detectors been installed in their apartment.
North Carolina law makes it mandatory that landlords provide adequate smoke detectors for the tenant. Read more about the General Statute here.