Firefighter’s Widow Wins $10 Million Settlement

May 20, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Linda Graffagnino is escorted by a New York firefighter
Linda Graffagnino is escorted by a New York firefighter after the funeral of her husband, Joseph Graffagnino, on August 23, 2007 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Joseph Graffagnino, 33, was killed along with another firefighter battling a blaze at the abandoned Deutsche Bank building next to Ground Zero on August 18. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—The widow of a deceased firefighter will receive a $10 million settlement due to lax procedures by the contractor, subcontractor, and city and state agencies in a fire five years ago that caused the death of two firefighters.

The firefighters became trapped and succumbed from severe smoke inhalation while fighting a seven-alarm high-rise fire at the former Deutsche Bank building, 130 Liberty St.

Joseph Graffagino, 33, left behind a wife and two children. His wife, Linda, won $9 million compensation from Bovis Lend Lease, and an additional $1 million from the city, according to the New York Daily News.

An investigation found that a cut water pipe had prevented water from reaching the fire that day. It also said the FDNY failed to inspect the building regularly as required by law.

Graffagino’s attorney John Meringolo will get $2.4 million, while Graffagino and her two children will get the rest of the money in installments over the next decade.

Robert Beddia, 53, also perished in the fire. Beddia’s family settled two years ago for $6 million.

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