BAKERSFIELD, California — A trailer park management company has been charged with a felony count of involuntary homicide for a fire that killed a baby. After a settlement to the initial lawsuit, the company now faces criminal charges.
The DA says Pama Management, Inc. is in violation of legal code section 192(b) after a five-month-old died in a fire at the 4J’s Trailer Park in Oildale on January 24, 2016. However, the DA has yet to say exactly what part of the legal code the company violated.
Pama Management operated the trailer park and leased the trailer where the fire happened, the DA said. The fire started in or around the child’s bedroom where she was sleeping. The adults living in the home were able to escape safely. However, the child was tragically not so lucky.
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A settlement was reached in January in a legal proceeding against Nijjar Realty INC., Pama Management Inc., Cobra 28 No. 7, LP and IE Rental Homes after alleging charges including wrongful death, negligence, and fraud.
The DA’s Office accuses Pama Management of failing to abide by its legal duties to maintain the trailer in compliance with the state’s statutory requirements for its residences.
Two years after the fire, Kern County Fire officials have yet to determine the cause of the fire. The family’s lawyer told back in January that they were experiencing electrical problems the day the fire broke out. While electrical problems are common with trailers, they rarely escalate like they did in this situation.
The DA said the initial court appearance will happen sometime in the future. When that happens, the company will need to defend itself vociferously in court. After all, negligence is not something the law takes lightly. On top of that, this company’s negligence led to the death of a child. That’s not something that anyone is likely to be lenient about.