Family blames husband, in-laws for death of West Richland mother

Family blames husband, in-laws for death of West Richland mother »Play Video

WEST RICHLAND -- A wrongful death suit is now filed in the case of a West Richland mom -- killed in a house fire earlier this year.  The sister of Sandy St. George is suing Sandy's widower; blaming him and his parents for Sandy's death.

The estate of Sandy St. George is headed by her sister, Sharon Piel.  In a wrongful death claim, Piel says Thomas St. George and his parents cluttered up their property with dangerous stuff that created a fire hazard.

Even before the fire, the city of West Richland had lodged several code violations against Thomas St. George for the status of the shop.

It's important to note that the police investigation into Sandy's death has not been completed, but the coroner said she died from breathing in smoke.

How the house fire started still hasn't been determined and Thomas St. George has not been charged with a crime.

KEPR spoke with Bill Reinig, the lawyer hired by Piel to pursue the lawsuit.

KEPR asked, Reinig, "Is this a way of seeking justice for Sandy St. George?"  He replied, "In a way...but also the beneficiaries of the action being brought for the estate by Sandy St. George's Sister Sharon Piel are the three minor children."

Those children were staying with a sitter at the time the fire started.  Thomas was able to escape the flames, but Sandy did not.

To keep this story balanced we attempted to call Thomas St. George and his defense lawyer for their side but have not heard back.

Here is the wrongful death suit as filed in Benton County.