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2nd Wrongful Death Suit Settled in Hotel Fire


TREMPEALEAU COUNTY, Wis. (WTAQ) - A settlement has been reached in a second wrongful death suit connected with a hotel fire that killed 3 people in western Wisconsin a year-and-a-half ago.

The suit was dropped after what was termed a “minor” settlement between 2 of the victims and the owner of the Hotel Tap in Independence. 44-year-old Gerardo Perez and 35-year-old Humberto Hernandez-Vanegas sued hotel owner Corazon Moen and her insurance companies.

The amount of the settlement was not released, and Trempealeau County Circuit Judge John Damon agreed to seal the case documents. An earlier wrongful death suit was also dropped. 60-year-old Ronald Beck Sr. was the other victim.

The fire took place in February of 2009. The state fire marshal could not determine what caused it. Reports showed that the hotel failed fire inspections before the blaze. Moen acknowledged the inspections, but she said the affected problems were repaired before the fire broke out.