Evergreen Court fire victim’s sons sue facility, others over his death

“The sons of the 79-year-old man who died in the 2021 Evergreen Court Home for Adults inferno filed a lawsuit against the facility and the employees who were charged in relation to his death.

The lawsuit claims the adult home and employees caused Oliver Hueston’s death through recklessness, negligence and being poorly trained. The sons are seeking a financial award, including punitive damages and legal fees, for their father’s death and emotional and psychological pain.

Hueston, 79, died from injuries suffered on March 23, 2021, when flames destroyed the massive adult home at 65 Lafayette St. He had three sons.

Lloyd lawsuit: Jared Lloyd’s mom files wrongful death lawsuit against Spring Valley, rabbis, and others

Concerns about Evergreen Court: Before Jared Lloyd’s death, calls to the facility raised concern

Spring Valley Firefighter Lt. Jared Lloyd, 35, father of two young sons, died when part of the building collapsed on him as he and dozens of firefighters rescued 112 infirmed and elderly residents. Lloyd’s mother also has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Spring Valley, the adult facility, its owners, and its employees.

Attorneys for Colin and David Hueston filed the lawsuit Tuesday in state Supreme Court in New City.

Hueston’s lawyers say the lawsuit names the Evergreen Court adult home, including the owners, Rabbis Nathaniel Sommer and son Aaron Sommer, then-Evergreen Court director Denise Kerr and former employee Emmanuel Lema.

Evergreen Court is one of several adult homes owned by the Schoenberger family of Monsey and Lakewood, New Jersey. The family owns New Golden Acres Adult Home at 11 Prospect St. in Spring Valley.

The Rockland District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the Sommers on charges, including manslaughter for the deaths of Lloyd and Hueston; reckless endangerment, negligent homicide; arson; and assault for the injuries suffered by residents and firefighters. The Sommers have pleaded not guilty.

“It is believed that these individuals used both a blowtorch and ignited coal embers in the kitchen at this facility, which caused the fire,” Nick said.

Evergreen Fire from Channel 12 Coverage

The District Attorney’s Office offers that theory for the cause of the fire.  The criminal complaint states the Sommers did not have an operating permit to use the lit torch; did not maintain a pre-work check report; did not post signs or warnings that a lit torch was being used; and did not use any shielding to prevent sparks, slag or heat from igniting combustibles.”

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