EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A civil lawsuit has been filed claiming a defective fire alarm and lack of handicap-accessible exits led to the death of a man at the Genetti Hotel when it caught fire a year ago in Wilkes-Barre.

Ven Johnson Law, PLC, and The Curran Firm P.C., filed the lawsuit in Luzerne County Court on behalf of Lisa Wilson, whose father died in the fire. The lawsuit was filed against Gus Genetti Hotel and Restaurant of Wilkes-Barre, and apartment owner and manager Gus Genetti, following the death of 67-year-old Larry Wilson.

Around 2:00 a.m. of January 25, 2022, a fire broke out on the third floor at Genetti Apartment Complex where Wilson, who suffered from physical disabilities, lived. According to the law firm, Wilson, who relied on a scooter for mobility, was home at the time of the fire.

The lawsuit claims he was unable to exit his apartment due to a lack of handicap-accessible exits in the apartment complex.

Our client suffered and died of horrific burns and smoke inhalation due to the carelessness of the apartment complex management, who failed to ensure fire safety equipment was operating properly in a building that houses more than a hundred tenants.

Regular fire safety inspections are required by law to save lives. Additionally, the apartment complex was not American Disabilities Act code compliant. Larry Wilson’s death was completely preventable had Genetti and his staff complied with the law.”

Ven Johnson, president of Detroit-based Ven Johnson Law.

Prior to the incident, the law firm notes, tenants said defective fire alarms would routinely go off, despite there being no smoke or fire present. Despite this, the law firm states, building management failed to inspect smoke detectors and fire sprinklers to ensure they were functioning properly.

The lawsuit lists three counts, including negligence, wrongful death, and survival action.