A Dorchester County woman whose three children were killed in a 1989 house fire set by a former boyfriend has filed an $18 million civil suit against the Cambridge city government and a police officer for allegedly failing to protect her and her family from "a foreseeable chain of events" that led to the arson and deaths.
In the suit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Carol L. Pinder claims that Cambridge police should have jailed Don Pittman, Ms. Pinder's former boyfriend, after he broke into her Pine Street home, attacked her and threatened her life on March 10, 1989.
Instead, according to the suit, police charged Pittman with two minor crimes and released him on his own recognizance.
Pittman later returned to the house and set it afire, killing Ms. Pinder's three children, Kim, 11, LaToya, 4, and Troy, 2. The suit states that Ms. Pinder, having been reassured by police that Pittman would pose no danger to the family, had returned to her job at an Easton factory.