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Parents of fourth MUW student killed in fire file suit

 

Dispatch Staff Report

 

The parents of the fourth Mississippi University for Women student killed Jan. 16 in a fire at the Hoover, Ala., Days Inn have filed suit. 

 

Bernard and Jacquelynn McGee, parents of Jaslynn McGee, 19, of Corinth, filed a wrongful death suit Monday in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Their suit joins one filed by the mother of Jamelia Brown, 18, of Grenada, and another filed jointly by the parents of Catherine Ann Muse, 18, and Alondan "Angel" Turner, 18, both of Cordova, Ala. 

 

All of the suits name Papasha Inc., owners of the Days Inn; SPP Inc., operators of the Days Inn; Chris Parekh, one of the owners and the manager of the Days Inn; and maintenance man Dhirajlal Bhagat as defendants. 

 

The fire that trapped and killed the four women began in Bhagat''s room. The native Indian, who was in the country illegally, left incense burning unattended on a prayer shrine in his room and returned to find his room in flames. He attempted unsuccessfully to extinguish the flames. 

 

The suits allege the defendants failed to provide adequate safety measures to prevent and extinguish a fire and failed to warn motel guests of the fire. 

 

The defendants have 30 days to file an answer to the suits before depositions begin. A Jefferson County Circuit Court judge says "months and months" could pass before the suits are heard. 

 

The plaintiffs in each suit are seeking "judgment against all defendants ... in an amount to be determined by a jury along with interests and costs." 

 

Jacquelynn McGee declined to comment on the suit. Calls to Bernard McGee were not returned.

 

 

 

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