- The city settled 32 out of 36 lawsuits brought on behalf of those who died in the fire.
Last week, the City Of Oakland, California settled 32 lawsuits related to the 2016 Ghost Ship fire.
The fire claimed the lives of 36 people, including musicians like Johnny Igaz (Nackt), Chelsea Faith Dolan (Cherushii) and Cash Askew, formerly of the band Them Are Us Too. On July 17th, the city announced settlements of 32 out of the 36 lawsuits filed on behalf of victims—$23.5 million went to the families of those who died in the wire with $9.2 million going to Sam Maxwell, who survived while sustaining "severe, lifelong injuries and major medical expenses."
Oakland firefighters had visited the Ghost Ship on multiple occasions and were aware of the safety concerns at the space. "One spark and it will be all bad," an Oakland police officer said on body camera footage obtained by the New York Times.
In a statement, the City Of Oakland called the Ghost Ship fire a "horrific tragedy that deeply impacted every corner of our community," but asserted that the city was not liable for losses and that the settlement was a result of a cost-benefit analysis.
The criminal trial of Ghost Ship operator Derick Almena will resume in October 2020 after a mistrial. Max Harris, Ghost Ship's creative director, was acquitted on manslaughter charges.