Son perished in fire, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Sep. 2, 2008, 7:40am

Jesse Rodriguez has filed a complaint on behalf of his son, Caiu Rodriguez, against Darrin and Melissa Agne, alleging Caiu perished in a fire in an apartment building the Agnes owned.

Caiu was living in apartment B, a basement apartment in a building located at 1066 Chestnut St. in Collinsville when a fire broke out on Feb. 28, according to a complaint filed Aug. 28 in Madison County Circuit Court.

"As a direct and proximate result of Darrin Agne's breach of duty, Caiu Rodriguez suffered conscious pain and suffering, emotional distress and smoke inhalation," the complaint states.

Caiu's death has caused his next of kin and his father grief, sorrow and mental suffering and great pecuniary losses and injuries, loss of society, loss of companionship, loss of support and loss of valuable services Caiu would have provided them, according to the suit.

In addition, Jesse had to pay for Caiu's medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, the suit states.

Jesse claims the Agnes were negligent because they failed to supply and install a smoke detector in Caiu's apartment and in the common stairwells of the building, failed to provide written information regarding a smoke detector, failed to ensure smoke detectors had adequate batteries and were in working condition, failed to install a sufficient number of smoke detectors, failed to test smoke detectors in the common stairwell.

He also claims the Agnes failed to provide a fire safety policy for residents of their building; failed to comply with, rented a building in violation of and modified the building in violation of local, state and national building codes; failed to properly ventilate apartment B; failed to provide proper windows in the apartment; rented the apartment out when it was unfit for habitability; rented it in an unsafe condition; failed to provide proper exits in the apartment; failed to provide, install or maintain fire extinguishers in the apartment; and failed to provide and maintain windows in the apartment, the complaint states.

In the eight-count suit, Jesse seeks an amount in excess of $200,000. He also seeks a sum not in excess of $200,000 to compensate him for damages sustained and the cost of the lawsuit.

Jesse is represented by George H. Albers in Granite City.

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