Mayor's Office Press Release

City Update on Lawsuits Against Businesses by Injured Firefighters and Firefighters' Survivors

August 30, 2018 -- As Mayor Sylvester Turner has explained publicly multiple times, the City of Houston is making no attempt to collect money from lawsuits against businesses accused of being responsible for the deaths of five firefighters and injuries to other firefighters in the Southwest Inn fire of 2013.

The lawsuits against the businesses were filed by injured firefighters and survivors of the firefighters who died. The City has never sought money from those plaintiffs.

Any claim that the City is “still pursuing families in court” is untrue. The City never pursued the families. Now the city is no longer seeking money from the businesses.

Trial lawyers for the injured firefighters and the firefighters’ survivors have asked the City to file documents showing essentially that it will never try to revive its claim against the businesses.

The City has offered to do so in response to a lawsuit against the City by one of the law firms involved in the case.

“The City exercises its discretion in the best interest of the City and the Public, and hereby forever waives and relinquishes its right to recover from the settling defendants in the Litigation the total of the Benefits paid by the City to or on behalf of the Waiver Beneficiaries, provided, however, that this Waiver in no way limits, waives, relinquishes or restricts any right the City has to recover from the attorneys for the Waiver Beneficiaries any settlement funds withheld from the Waiver Beneficiaries by their attorneys because of contingency fee liens, attorney's fees, or litigation costs incurred in connection with any litigation, including, without limitation, the Litigation, in violation of Texas law.”