Two tenants in the building that caught fire last week during the shooting of “Motherless Brooklyn” have filed a $7 million lawsuit against Edward Norton’s production company and the tenants’ landlord.
George and Erica Cruz live on the fourth floor of the building in Harlem where the film, directed by Norton, was being shot. A fire broke out in the basement sometime around 11 p.m. on Thursday. Michael R. Davidson, a New York firefighter, was killed in the blaze.
The lawsuit alleges that Norton’s company, Class 5 Inc., acted with “recklessness, carelessness and negligence,” by bringing highly flammable materials into the building and by failing to provide sufficient safety personnel. The suit also claims that tenants were not warned of the fire, and in fact were falsely assured that the fire had been put out.
According to the suit, the Cruzes’ apartment was completely destroyed.
Class 5 did not immediately return a call seeking comment. The suit also seeks to recover damages from Vincent Sollazzo, identified as the owner of the building.
In a statement last week, Norton expressed his condolences to the family of the firefighter.
“We watched firsthand with astonishment as they charged into the smoke to make sure all were safely out and then fought to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading, putting their lives on the line as they do every day,” Norton said.