Mother sues apartment owner, management company over fire her kids died in

By Annie Cosby | Sep 29, 2014

A woman is suing over claims she was injured and her children died in a fire earlier this month in their apartment on the city's South Side.

Shamaya Coleman, individually and as special administrator of the Estate of Eriana Smith, filed a lawsuit Sept. 16 in Cook County Circuit Court against Tahir M. Sheikh and J&J Real Estate Management and Construction Inc., alleging premises liability.

The suit names the City of Chicago as a respondent in discovery.

According to the complaint, a fire started in a vacant apartment in the defendants' building on South Vernon Avenue on Sept. 8, and then spread to the third-floor apartment Coleman lived in with her four children.

Coleman says she sustained injuries and Smith died, along with her three other children: Carliysia Clark, Karlvon Clark and Shamarion Clark.

She accuses the defendants of being negligent in failing to equip the building with smoke detectors, sprinkler systems or a safe means of egress in violation of health codes.

Coleman is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is represented by attorney Ronald Kalish of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L009644.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it only represents one side of the story.

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