A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Jackson County Circuit Court regarding the deadly January 2020 fire at Jackson County Park Marina that claimed eight lives.
The families of two victims, Amanda Nicole Foster and Yancy Tyler Roper, are among several plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Defendants include the city of Scottsboro, Jackson County, Jackson County Commissioners at the time of the incident, the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama Liability Self Insurance Fund, Scottsboro Electric Power Board and others.
The lawsuit filed last week, says that “deaths, injuries and property losses” in the fire were the result of the “negligent and/or wanton conduct” of the defendants.
The lawsuit also claims that prior to the fire on Jan. 27, 2020, defendants failed to comply with the safety-related rules, regulations and guidelines of the TVA, the International Fire Code, the National Fire Protection Association, including NFPA 303, the National Water Safety Congress, and/or the National Electric Code.
“Defendants had the duty and responsibility to make sure these safety-related rules, regulations and guidelines constituted the best practices and guidelines for the marina industry which should have been used by Defendants in all aspects of building, rebuilding, wiring, rewiring, maintaining and operating Dock B,” the lawsuit read.
A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report last September determined the boat dock fire was contributed to the marina’s limited safety practices. In addition to eight dead, the value of Dock B and 35 vessels destroyed was estimated at more than $500,000, according to the report.
Plaintiffs contend defendants had the responsibility to make sure the dock was built safely and maintained properly. The lawsuit also alleges that boaters were not provided with guidance on electrical equipment and issues, defendants failed to perform annual electrical inspections and did not provide marina employees with fire response training, hold regular fire drills or have a liaison with the local fire department to develop a pre-fire plan.
Plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury.