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Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in Sedgwick County district court in connection with a fire in Scott City that killed a woman and 3 children.
Kansas City attorney Stephen Torline filed 2 lawsuits on behalf of family members of the victims. 28-year-old Jackie Ann Coberly, 4-year-old Brandon Carter, 8-year-old Terra Renee Murphy and 5-year-old Cassie Linn Murphy, died after the house fire on March 10th. A cause of the fire has not been determined.
The lawsuits allege that the landlords did not provide a smoke detector for the rental home. Torline said state law does not allow for civil lawsuits over smoke detectors, but he hopes this case will lead to changes in that law.
The lawsuits also claim that Windsor Place At Home Care of Wichita was responsible for providing a caregiver for Coberly, who was a quadriplegic. Torline said the caregiver was not at the home when the fire broke out.
Windsor Place told the Associated Press that Coberly had chosen ``self-directed care'' in which she hired and managed her own caregivers. The agency was only responsible for administrative tasks, such as filing the payroll paperwork and taxes.
(in the photo at left, Jeff Murphy and his ex-wife, Branda Murphy, the parents of Terra and Cassie, talk with reporters in the Sedgwick County Courthouse.)