Settlement reached in deadly Stamford Christmas fire lawsuit

STAMFORD — The city of Stamford announced late Tuesday that it has settled the Matthew Badger lawsuit against the city, for an undisclosed amount, three weeks before a trial was to begin in the Christmas fire that killed three girls and their maternal grandparents, Lomar and Pauline Johnson.

Stamford legal affairs director Kathryn Emmett announced the settlement late Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed but include a $250,000 donation to a charity or a school scholarship to be chosen by Sherwin Campbell Badger, who took over as executor of the estates of Lily, 9, and her twin sisters, Sarah and Grace, 7.

The girls’ father, Matthew Badger, sued on their behalf, saying the city failed to properly inspect renovations at the home. He died in February and his brother took over as executor. Jury selection began last week in the case and a trial was expected to begin this month.

A contractor who accidentally caused the fire agreed to settle part of a wrongful death lawsuit by paying the children’s father $5 million in 2011. The fire was blamed on fireplace ashes left in a mudroom.