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Bohemian B&B fire wrongful death lawsuits settled

Allocations, amounts confidential

December 4, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - Wrongful death lawsuits stemming from the Bohemian Bed and Breakfast fire that took the lives of six people July 2, 2011 on South German Street were settled Monday in Brown County District Court.

Lives lost included Bohemian owner Bobbi McCrea, her 15-year-old daughter Abby, her three-year-old daughter Savannah and three guests - a Wisconsin couple and a Nebraska man.

In addition to McCrea and her daughters, the Bohemian fire claimed the lives of Joseph and Dian Bergman of Centuria, Wis., and Andy Uhing of Hartington, Neb.. His wife, Sandy, escaped the fire by jumping from the building.

Charles and Diane Frye of Plymouth, were injured while escaping the fire.

Four wrongful death claims and one injury claim were filed against McCrea's estate.

Judge Robert Docherty granted a request by Mankato attorney Jerry Maschka that the settlement amount and allocations be confidential.

Maschka attended court in person. Several other attorneys representing other parties in three related lawsuits, participated via a telephone conference call.

"The case appears to be complete," Maschka said after the court hearing. "The Judge's Order is to be issued Monday (Dec. 3). It goes without saying it's a tragedy. A group of competent and responsible lawyers were involved on behalf of the clients. I thank the judge for understanding our requests to seal information to protect people who were hurt. It's over."

Initial claims filed against the estate, denied in Brown County District Court, included a claim of more than $1 million on behalf of the Bergman interests. As a result, the claims were handled privately. Involved parties agreed to appoint Twin Cities mediator Steve Kirsch to lead the arbitration process.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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