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Last week a fire broke out on the set of Edward Norton's new movie Motherless Brooklyn. It was a five-alarm blaze that ended up taking the life of one firefighter. Now, Norton's production company is being sued by tenants of the apartment building who claim the company misled them regarding the state and the severity of the fire.
Erica and George Cruz have filed the suit against Class 5 productions, Edward Norton's production company, that is producing Motherless Brooklyn, a film that Norton is also directing and starring in. The Cruz's, are claiming the company "maintained certain equipment, including highly flammable equipment in the basement" of the apartment building in which they lived. The suit also claims that when Class 5 became aware of the fire, they did not alert the tenants of the building, but rather had them believing that, while there had been a fire, it had been extinguished.
The lawsuits were essentially inevitable following the fire, which, in addition to destroying the building, took the life of firefighter Michael Davidson who attempted to help put out the blaze. As of this point, there has been no determination made of exactly what caused the fire, at least nothing that has been released publicly. The couple bringing the suit is clearly setting the blame for the fire itself at the feet of the production company, and then also blaming them for not handling the fire properly once it happened. We can likely expect a series of lawsuits to follow this one from other tenants, whoever owned the building, or anybody else who feels the fire has damaged them in any way.
The fire started in the basement of the building and while the production was reportedly using the basement, according to The Blast, Edward Norton has previously stated that they were filming in another part of the building when the fire broke out. Norton also commends the quick action of the production crew for their quick action that led to saving so many lives.
Obviously, there's a disconnect here as one side claims the production company helped protect the people in the building, but the lawsuit is claiming quite the opposite.
Clearly, this is not how Edward Norton wanted to see this movie go. Motherless Brooklyn has been a long in development project for Norton that he's wanted to make for years. It follows a private detective with Tourette's Syndrome who is attempting to solve the murder of a friend, who will be played by Bruce Willis. At this point, we don't really know what the film's status is. The fire will have put a stop to the production for the moment but depending on how far along filming was, and how much time will need to be given to the lawsuit and other fallout from the fire, the movie could be delayed for several months or more.