The attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. extend their thoughts and prayers to the thirteen survivors and the families of the six victims who were killed in last Wednesday’s building collapse on Market Street in Center City, Philadelphia. Like all Philadelphians, we are horrified that an unbraced four story wall – a threat to safety in every conceivable context – was permitted to exist at an active demolition site for multiple days leading up to June 5, 2013. The ensuing collapse was as predictable as it is unforgettable.
OSHA Safety Standard 1926.854(b), which governs “Removal of Walls”, expressly states that no wall section, which is more than one story in height, shall be permitted to stand alone without lateral bracing, unless such wall was originally designed and constructed to stand without such lateral support, and is in a condition safe enough to be self-supporting. This standard also demands that all walls shall be left in a stable condition at the end of each shift. When this standard is blatantly disregarded, as it was by the demolition company and the building owner, a collapse is all but inevitable. On June 5, 2013, the unbraced wall fell outward, causing critical damage to the adjoining Salvation Army store, which, in turn, never should have been open to the public.
The City is now investigating multiple demolition sites where other safety concerns may be present. Many experts have already questioned the qualifications of the demolition company, Griffin Campbell, and why the owner of the building, STB Investments, only paid $10,000 to have this work done.
Our firm has seen first-hand the devastating injuries and suffering of victims in similar catastrophic construction accidents. We regularly work with world-renowned structural engineers, architects, OSHA experts, and other forensic specialists.
When an under-construction parking garage collapsed at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, our attorneys helped to secure a $101 million settlement for the victims. Most recently, our attorneys secured a multi-million dollar recovery for the family of a construction worker who perished when a roof collapsed underneath him, causing him to fall to his death.
Click here to see Fox-29 analysis by Eisenberg Rothweiler senior partner, Ken Rothweiler, based on our firm’s initial investigation of the Market Street building collapse.
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