He’s accused of gross negligence for building the frame of the fireplaces with combustible materials, instead of materials such as brick, and for not building any firebreaks inside the walls. Unchecked by firebreaks, the flames rocketed up to the attic. The ceiling eventually collapsed....Why is this a hard case, and what's the bad law?
"This type of improvisation and casual design is a relic of the past," said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.... Tragedies are often followed by demands for prosecution and those demands are likely to be tied to this case as precedent... In that way, this could be an example of a hard case making bad law for architects in the future."
January 3, 2014
"Gerhard Becker... built long, natural-gas fire pits meant for outdoor use into the interior of his home."