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KJSR Files Suit Against Heritage Village

Thursday April 27, 2023

Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Heritage Village, a 55+ adult community after a fire caused by an allegedly defective heating unit injured the decedent and led to his death.

Matthew Kaufmann, administrator of the estate of Anthony Kaufmann, and Marianna Kaufmann, Anthony’s wife, filed the lawsuit in Waterbury Superior Court Monday against Heritage Village Master Association Inc. and Heritage Village Foundation Inc.

According to a recent article published on Law.com, "During a home inspection before Anthony and Marianna Kaufmann moved into the condominium, it was noted that the sliding patio door could not open because there was an issue with the lock, the complaint alleged. The defendants stated that a work order to repair the door could not begin until the Kaufmanns moved into the unit, the complaint said."

“The plaintiff, Marianna Kaufmann, saw her condominium Unit 68B on fire, burning, all the while knowing her husband, decedent Anthony Kaufmann, remained inside the burning building and hearing his calls for help as he succumbed to his injuries,” the complaint said."

According to an article in Republican-American "The lawsuit against Heritage Village Master Association and Heritage Village Foundation alleges both parties are responsible for Kaufmann’s death because they failed to inspect the floor electrical heating unit, which reached such a high temperature that it caused a box on top of the unit to combust, igniting a nearby curtain. 

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Michael Kennedy of New Haven, also alleges HVA failed to repair a sliding glass door in a rear bedroom, which was deemed inoperable due to a problem with the lock, preventing Kaufmann from escaping. 

Kaufmann and his wife, Marianna, had just moved into the condo the week before from a home in Redding. The suit alleges the couple requested the door be repaired, but HVA failed to do so in a timely manner. 

The lawsuit also states the defendants’ negligence caused undue emotional stress to Marianna Kaufmann, who had to endure watching her home burn down with her husband trapped inside and calling out for help."

According to Attorney Michael Kennedy of KJSR, "in light of the significant tragedy of this case, the death of Mr. Kaufmann and the emotional toll it has taken on his widow, Mrs. Kaufmann, we will be seeking a substantially larger amount of compensation.” 

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