The Oakland “Ghost Ship” Warehouse Fire that took the lives of so many local members of our community is a devastating tragedy. The fact that the incident appears to be a result of negligence and recklessness makes dealing with the emotions that much more infuriating. Initial reports have indicated that the owner of the building was well aware of numerous dangerous conditions and illegalities of the property itself. As concerning are the reports that the City of Oakland and County of Alameda were also well aware of the potential harm that the warehouse exposed the public to and their failure to enforce code and legal violations. As recent as November 14, 2016 a complaint was issued regarding the collection of debris and hazardous material on and around the property.
While financial awards through litigation can never fully compensate for the loss of a life, our judicial system is equipped to provide for the loss by monetary compensation. And because the owner of the warehouse and his insurance policy is likely limited, which would leave many without sufficent compensation, those effected should look to the City of Oakland and County of Alameda for compensation because of their respective negligence and recklessness that was a proximate cause of the tragedy.
The gross negligence of the owner, City of Oakland, and County of Alameda has devastated our community through the loss of scores of young and talented people. Those liable for the loss must be held accountable.