Augusta to appeal ruling against city in 2006 fire deaths

 

The city of Augusta will appeal a Thursday ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals in a civil suit filed in connection with the 2006 fire deaths of a young couple.

Augusta General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie said the commission agreed during a closed-door legal meeting Tuesday to appeal the ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Outside legal counsel Daniel Hamilton is handling the city’s defense, and cost had exceeded $500,000 as of last week.

The suit alleges Augusta building inspector Lewis Vann’s failure to conduct a routine electrical inspection at a Buck Road mobile home led to the deaths of Ryan Holt, 19, and Michelle Borror, 20. Vann signed off on a document giving Georgia Power Co. authorization to turn on power at the trailer shortly before the couple moved in. A month later, they died of smoke inhalation when a fire started in a kitchen electrical outlet.

The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled last week that Augusta Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown was correct in denying the city’s motion for summary judgment in the suit.

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