PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Theresa Malloy, 85, lived in Barclay Friends assisted living, West Chester, Pennsylvania, for only four weeks before she was killed in the roaring multi-alarm fire that leveled the complex. Today her three children joined attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi at a news conference to remember Theresa, a fun-loving, family-focused, retired career IRS employee, and describe what is being done to hold accountable those responsible for her death. They said their overriding objective in pursing justice for Theresa is to ensure that a similar catastrophe never happens again. The Philadelphia native with an infectious laugh had a combined 15 grand and great grandchildren at the time of her death.
Mr. Mongeluzzi, of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C., joined by partners Andrew R. Duffy and Jeffrey P. Goodman, noted that Theresa's loving children, Mary Dimaio, Martin Malloy, and Gary Malloy, made the agonizing choice to move their mother out of her own home into assisted living for her personal safety and protection. Citing various accounts that have reported that the facility's sprinkler system failed to activate when the fire erupted, the family's attorney stated that either the sprinklers or the facility did not protect Theresa. Mr. Mongeluzzi added, "From what we now know, Barclay Friends failed in its obligation to protect this wonderful woman."
Theresa's children joined the attorneys to remember their mother and also ask for anyone with information that could be helpful about the facility to come forward. They described their mom as a strong-willed, independent single parent who worked hard, was deeply religious, and put her family first throughout her entire life. They said they turned to Mr. Mongeluzzi and his highly experienced team of trial attorneys as they continue to grieve the loss of their mother.
Martin Malloy stated, "Mom was fiercely independent her whole life and we respected that independence, which is why when it came time to look for a suitable senior living facility, it was important that it was a place where we knew she'd not only be happy, but, above all, be protected. Be safe from harm. And now we're struggling for answers to the most basic questions: Why wasn't she protected, how could this have happened in what was supposed to be an excellent place?" The day before the fire, on November 15th, he had dinner with Theresa at the facility and watched her enjoying a recreational activity with other residents. Physically fit, she easily got around without any assistance.
Mr. Duffy stated that just hours before the news conference he toured the charred fire scene with two of the law firm's forensic fire-safety experts as part of ultimately determining the root cause of the blaze.
Ms. Dimaio, in recalling the frantic night and day following the fire, stated, "Our sheer panic did not come close to that which our mother must have experienced in the time leading up to her death. You can't begin to imagine - and I hope you never have to - what we felt and continue to feel."
SOURCE Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.