Wrongful death lawsuit against Northampton arsonist Anthony Baye dropped: Agreement reached over loss of father, son in 2009 fire

Monday, August 18, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — The wrongful death civil lawsuit filed against convicted arsonist Anthony Baye has been dismissed as the result of an agreement by both sides.

The motion for dismissal was filed Friday in Hampshire Superior Court. However, Mark Tanner, the Northampton attorney for plaintiff Elaine Yeskie, whose husband, Paul Yeskie Sr., 81, and son, Paul Yeskie Jr., 39, perished in a fire on Fair Street set by Baye during an arson spree on Dec. 27, 2009, said the matter was actually settled last year.

Tanner said the settlement was reached in September 2013. However, he declined to provide details about the settlement.

Tanner said a clerical oversight that prevented the necessary paperwork from being filed was recently discovered. That paperwork was filed Friday.

The suit was filed in October 2012 and sought monetary and punitive damages against Baye. According to the suit, Yeskie suffered severe emotional distress from having witnessed the deaths of her husband and son.

Yeskie and another woman, the late Carol Lapointe, both escaped from the house the night of the fire.

Attempts to reach Yeskie for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

A message left for Baye’s civil attorney, Adam Cohen of Wellesley, was not immediately returned.

Baye was represented at his criminal trial by attorneys David Hoose and Thomas Lesser, both of Northampton.

Baye pleaded guilty to 48 charges, including two counts of manslaughter resulting from the deaths of Yeskie’s husband and son, after one day of testimony at his criminal trial in May 2013. That included tearful testimony by Yeskie.

Baye was sentenced to serve 19 to 20 years in state prison after he admitted setting and attempting to set about three dozen fires, mostly in the Ward 3 neighborhood where he lived on Hawley Street, dating back to 2007, including the fatal blaze.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.