Cook County to Pay $9 Million in High-Rise Fire Lawsuit

An October 2003 fire at a downtown Chicago high-rise building that housed city offices killed six people and caused changes in city fire regulations because doors in the stairways were locked. With a civil trial against some defendants set to start next week, Cook County agreed to pay $9 million to settle a tort claim resulting from the fire, the American Bar Association's Journal and the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

The people who died, and 16 who were injured during the Oct. 17, 2003, fire, were trying to evacuate the building through smoke-filled stairways. The reports said settlement talks are continuing with the City of Chicago, a building management company, and other defendants,

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Robvert Clifford, is a former chair of the ABA Section of Litigation, according to the ABA's report.

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