First lawsuit filed in wake of deadly Philly building collapse

Today, the Boston Herald reported that a personal injury lawsuit has already been filed in the wake of the Philadelphia building collapse that occured Wednesday morning. Six people were killed and more than a dozen were injured when a planned demolition of two buildings in the City Center caused a neighboring Salvation Army store to also partially collapse as people shopped.

A lawsuit that was filed late yesterday by a woman who was buried in the collpase but survived accuses the demolition company of cutting corners. The woman’s attorney called the incident the “most egregious construction accident” he had ever been invovled with. The personal injury lawyer said the contractor in charge of the demolition had violated federal safety regulations and showed blatant disregard for human life.

The building owner was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit and was accused of making a “grossly negligent” selection of contractors. The personal injury lawyer stated that the business owner should have known enough to choose a more qualified contractor for the job.

It is also possible that criminal charges could be filed against owner of the demolition company, who has been arrested in the past on charged involving drugs, assault and insurance fraud, according to the Boston Herald.

Following the tragic building collapse, a city councilman called for a stricter application and inspection process for demolition companies, some of whom he said are operating dangerously and under-the-radar. The city has since begun inspecting all of the 300 demolition projects set to take place. So far, violations have been discovered at two of the 30 sites that have been inspected, city officials said.

It appears that inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at the scene of Wednesday’s building collapse. Apparently, OSHA had recieved a complaint May 15 that workers at the demolition site were at risk of falling.

Source: Boston Herald, “Cause of deadly Philly collapse sought; suit filed,” June 7, 2013