A mobile home on the Aquilini-owned Red Mountain Vineyard in Washington State caught on fire in July 2017. (Benton County Sheriff’s Department)

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Several businesses owned by the Aquillini family are denying any negligence after a fire killed two children on property owned by the family’s vineyard in Washington State.

The response, filed in King County Superior Court on Oct. 16 against multiple Aquilini businesses including Luigi Aquilini, was in response to a civil suit the parents of the children filed in July. The Aquillini family owns the Vancouver Canucks and a number of B.C. development properties.

The negligent death suit stems from a July 2017 fire at the Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State. The suit alleges two children died of injuries from the fire as a result of the Aquillinis’ negligence.

In their response, the companies argue they are not liable because the family were “trespassers” on the property.

In the suit, parents Sergio and Erika Hernandez said they left their two kids, Alex, 10, and Patty, 7, sleeping in the home while they briefly stepped out.

Sergio returned home to see smoke and flames coming from the homes. He said he ran inside and rescued his children from the smoke and flame filled home.

The civil suit alleges Patty and Alex died in August 2017 and January 2018, respectively, after experiencing “horrific suffering and pre-death pain” in hospital.

The parents claim there were no working smoke detectors in the home, which made it so “there was no warning” to those inside that a fire was brewing.

But in the initial suit, the Hernandez family said the mobile home they lived in with their two children was provided by the vineyard.

The Hernandezes allege that the Aquilini-owned business carried out “extensive work” on the mobile home and altered the electrical system, all without any permits or safety inspections.

In the companies’ response, they state the Hernandez family’s claims “if any,” were “proximately caused by the faults of other persons” over which the companies had no control over.

Sergio, court documents said, has been unable to work since the fire after suffering burns on more than 30 per cent of his body.

The companies alleges the family’s damages are a “result of the plaintiffs’ failure to mitigate” them. The companies ask for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

The suit asks for general, special and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees, from the Aquilinis and their businesses.

Luigi Aquilini has yet to file a response.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino’s Crystal Cove crowned top family destination for second year in a row

TripAdvisor has announced the recipients of its Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best awards.

COVID-19: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation asks Tofino businesses for support as emergency funding runs dry

“We need to pay for the work they do. It’s such important work.”

DFO says the five aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Canada can lead the way to save sharks from extinction, says fisheries expert

“Combined with fishing extraction numbers, sharks experience huge losses in the environment.”

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breath

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Most Read