Around this time last year, filming on writer/director/actor Edward Norton’s film Motherless Brooklyn suffered an accidental fire, which claimed the life of New York firefighter Michael Davidson as he responded to the scene. Up until now, the legal ramifications of this fatality had been filed against Norton and his Class 5 production company, but a recent update has shown that Edward Norton is now filing a suit of his own.
In this latest turn of events, a lawsuit against the owner of the building Motherless Brooklyn was filming in, Vincent Sollazzo, claims that he is at fault for the fatal incident which occurred last March. Specifically, the suit alleges the following points of supposed negligence:
…failing to maintain the building’s boiler, maintain an operational sprinkler system, install or maintain smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors and address exposed wiring and other electrical hazards.
Class 5’s lawsuit also claims that the production company, and Edward Norton, had followed all protocols involving fire safety, throughout the production of Motherless Brooklyn. It was also inferred that Norton and his crew had the proper permits from the FDNY, and were not warned of any “unsafe or problematic” conditions at their shooting site.
The Blast has been a frequent source for reporting such developments during the production of Motherless Brooklyn, with the story becoming more complicated and saddening with each turn. Previously, the publication had reported on several additional lawsuits against Edward Norton’s Class 5 production company, with the most recent being filed earlier this month from a pair of tenants who literally claimed that this tragic incident ruined their lives.
Two additional suits were also reported from last year, as one was from tenants of the apartment building that claimed the company had informed them erroneously that the blaze was extinguished. The other was from Michael Davidson’s widow, who claimed that Class 5 actually removed fire prevention systems from the building.
This is the latest obstacle that’s befallen Motherless Brooklyn, as it’s a project that’s already taken over a decade to get into production. A project very near and dear to Norton, the film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by author Jonathan Lethem, which tells the story of a man with Tourette’s Syndrome trying to solve the murder of a local mobster.
It’s up to the law to determine whether the loss of life on Motherless Brooklyn is a case of gross negligence on any person’s part, or if this was merely an accident that took the life of a brave firefighter answering the call of service. However this ends up, at the very least, we should hope that the victims of this event can find peace and that measures are taken to make sure that accidents such as these happen less frequently during any future film productions.
Motherless Brooklyn has been set for a November 1 release date, but should that change for any reason we’ll provide the updated information as it breaks.