Lawsuit claims couple negligent for having fire at birthday party

JOHNSTOWN – A man who says his son suffered extensive burns at an outdoor fire at a birthday party last year is suing the homeowners, claiming they were negligent in having the fire on their property.

Kenneth Simek and his son, Peyton Simek, filed the suit Thursday in state Supreme Court in Johnstown against Jason and Lindsay Mussey of Johnstown.

The lawsuit says Peyton, who was 11 years old, fell into an outdoor fireplace or outdoor burning area while attending a birthday party at the Musseys’ home on June 23. The suit doesn’t specify how he fell.

It says the Musseys maintained the property negligently by having the fireplace “with the knowledge that all individuals, including children, would be using the property for recreational purposes.”

According to the lawsuit, Peyton suffered “permanent debilitating, physical injuries,” including first-, second- and third-degree burns to his chest and left shoulder. He has been treated with surgeries in skin grafts, which has left him with scars, mental distress, pain and a shock to his central nervous system, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit doesn’t specify damages being sought by the Simeks.

Lindsay Mussey said she has not been served a copy of the lawsuit and declined comment, other than to say she believed her insurance company had been handling the issue.

Simek’s attorney, Gerard McAuliffe of Johnstown, said his understanding is the insurance company has been cooperative, but he declined other comment because the alleged victim is a child.

By -