The building collapse injury lawyers at Denena Points, PC note that accident data reveals that failure to brace or shore up walls, dividers, and supporting structures as demolition takes place represents possibly the single most frequent cause of unexpected building collapses during demolition operations. In the recent Market Street building collapse in Philadelphia, a 4-story building collapsed with deadly consequences on the Salvation Army Thrift Store next door. Apparently all six of the dead from the collapse were in the Salvation Army Thrift Store at the time of the unexpected building collapse.
The Center City, Philadelphia area where the Market Street building collapse occurred was a hub of activity for construction and renovation activities. And multiple roofers, contractors, and others familiar with proper safety precautions for construction and demolition activities had been observing the demolition activity at the Market Street building that collapsed for some time. Their witness statements make several disparaging remarks about the lack of proper safety precautions at the demolition site, including a failure to brace a 30-foot dividing wall in the 4-story building.
Demolition contractors have legal duties to assure the safety of workers, passers-by, and people in buildings adjacent to the demolition. Our building collapse injury lawyers point out that those duties include providing proper bracing to structures as they take them down to ensure that walls don’t bulge and fail, floors don’t cave in, and the removal of key structural members doesn’t cause the entire building to fall. Witness statements imply that all of these essential safety precautions might have been overlooked at the collapsed Market Street site in Center City, Philadelphia.
Contractors in charge of demolition operations can’t simply entrust the site to random, unskilled day laborers. They need an experienced structural engineer and demolition expert on the site to ensure safety. At the site of the Market Street building collapse in Philadelphia, there was a clear failure to ensure the safety of workers and others.
But whether injured victims and the families of the deceased victims can ultimately obtain just compensation for their tragic losses is an open question. At least one of the parties primarily responsible for the site has already declared bankruptcy. Our building collapse injury lawyers sadly note that one of the victims was an employee of the Salvation Army Thrift Store on his first day at the job.
Click the link to read our article about the important of temporary bracing as a proper safety precaution at construction and demolition sites.