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11 Alive: Victims of Reserve at LaVista Walk apartment fire file lawsuit over ‘potential landlord negligence’

Victims of a massive apartment fire on the edge of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood announced a class action lawsuit on Saturday at a press conference with attorneys. 

A group of residents gathered at The Original Pancake House, across from the charred complex, “to brief the community about the negligent safety record of Avenium, the building’s commercial landlord,” a news release from a litigation firm read.

“We really just wanted to give an opportunity for the people whose lives have been drastically impacted, to say the least, by the fire,” Ken Thaxton, one of the attorneys on the case, said. 

Several residents then shared their experiences at the complex, recounting its devastating impact on their lives. 

“I lost every art piece that I have done since I was 12 years old,” Alyssa Greene, a resident, said. “I lost my family’s recipes that they’ve been passed down for almost a hundred years. I lost every stuffed animal I’ve had since elementary school.”

Other residents stepped forward to speak about ongoing issues at the complex, including reports of black mold, flooding and more.

“I also worked for the property for about eight months,” another resident said. “I do have firsthand knowledge of directly how negligent the owners were in regard to the treatment of this building.”

According to lawyers, since the property was purchased in December 2021, owners knew the building had issues with its fire suppression system. This led to many other problems, including the flooding, attorneys claim.  

“They knew that they were out of code, and they did not pay the vendor. And so that is what this lien is here,” Attorney Dean Thaxton said. “So they knew that they had issues.”

Dean Thaxton noted that Avenium has a portfolio that includes many other multi-dwelling properties across Atlanta.

“In the next couple of days, file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all of these people behind me,” Dean Thaxton said. “And we intend to hold these these people accountable.”

READ THE REST AT 11 ALIVE.

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