Edward Norton and his production company, Class 5 Films, are coming under fire in a lawsuit which blames them for the loss of an apartment building that was engulfed in flames.


While filming a scene for Motherless Brooklyn last Thursday evening, a fire broke out. Two firefighters were injured while working to put the fire out, and a third, the 37-year-old Michael Davidson, was killed.

Erica Cruz
, who lived in the same building, is now homeless. She and her attorney, David Jaroslawicz, filed a lawsuit against Class 5 Films as well as Vincent Sollazzo, the landlord for the building. George Cruz, Erica’s brother and the owner of the apartment’s lease, is also named as a defendant. The $5 million lawsuit was filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday while Davidson’s funeral was being held.

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According to the lawsuit, Erica, who was home with her special needs six-year-old during the time of the filming, had “to run for her life down several sets of dark stairs engulfed in smoke unable to breathe or see where she was going while fearful of falling each step” once the fire erupted. It also takes care to note how, in addition to losing all of her possessions, she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares, and the smoke triggered her asthma.

The suit attests to how Sollazzo neglected to have fire extinguishers and functional smoke detectors, along with confronting him for being “reckless, careless and negligent in having a building that was in a hazardous condition.” Norton’s production company, meanwhile, housed “highly flammable ultra-hazardous materials and equipment” in the building and dishonestly informed tenants that “the fire had been extinguished.”

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