Two survivors settle lawsuit in deadly San Marcos apartment fire | #College. | #Students

Two men injured in a deadly San Marcos apartment fire that was deliberately set have settled their lawsuit against the property owner and other defendants.

Steven Mroski and Zachary Rosenfeld, both 24, settled their claims against the companies that own and manage the Iconic Village Apartments complex, along with other defendants. Terms of the settlement, reached late last week, are confidential.

Another lawsuit, filed by 13 other survivors and the families of two people who died in the fire, is continuing. That case is set for a jury trial starting Nov. 1 in Austin. The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks, according to attorneys for the 20 defendants.

Five young adults were killed and many others hurt when someone lit the catastrophic fire at 222 Ramsay St. near Texas State University just before 4:30 a.m. on July 20, 2018.

Nearly three years later, no one has been arrested. Investigators haven’t divulged where or exactly how the fire was started.

Killed in the inferno were Dru Estes, 20, of San Antonio; David Angel Ortiz, 21, of Pasadena; Haley Michele Frizzell, 19, of San Angelo; Belinda Moats, 21, of Big Wells; and James Phillip Miranda, 23, of Mount Pleasant. Estes, Ortiz and Frizzell were Texas State students.

The most critically wounded survivor, Zachary Sutterfield, now 22, of San Angelo, suffered third-degree burns over nearly 70 percent of his body and a traumatic brain injury as he tried to escape.

The lawsuits accused the defendants of safety lapses at the apartments, such as failing to provide a fire sprinkler system and failing to inspect and test smoke detectors. Those sued denied any wrongdoing. At the time of the blaze, San Marcos’ fire code didn’t require the apartments — built in 1970 — to be retrofitted with sprinklers unless the buildings underwent major renovations.

Mroski, of San Antonio, and Rosenfeld, of Austin, jumped from a window of their second-story apartment into an alleyway as flames swept through their building, their attorneys said. Mroski broke both his heels and one wrist, while Rosenfeld broke an ankle and a wrist, said attorney Ryan Pigg.

“We are happy to get this matter resolved successfully and have our clients move on with their lives,” said Tony Buzbee, a well-known Houston lawyer who also is representing the two injured men.

Their lawsuit targeted San Marcos Green Investors LLC, the company that owns Iconic Village Apartments; Elevate Multifamily LLC, a company managing the property; two Elevate employees who worked at the apartments; and various other people and companies.

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