Family Files Suit for Man’s Death After Building Fell on Him

The 2013 collapse of a Salvation Army store in Philadelphia claimed seven lives, and the family of a man who was initially injured from the incident filed a lawsuit on July 22 that named multiple defendants. That man died 23 days after the building came down on him, and his family’s lawsuit claims his death can be attributed to the incident.

The 59-year-old man was shopping at the Salvation Army store on June 5, 2013 when demolition on a building next door caused a wall to collapse onto the store. He was one of 19 people who were buried in the rubble. According to the lawsuit, the man was buried in the rubble for one hour. He had a heart condition and asthma, and he suffered a heart attack at the scene of the collapse. His family’s lawyer contends that the building collapse contributed to his death on June 28, 2013, which occurred after several hospitalizations.

The two contractors named as defendants in the lawsuit are also facing criminal charges related to the collapse. One of them was allegedly operating machinery while impaired by drugs. In total, eight people may have died in connection with the incident. Another death that could be linked to the collapse was the suicide of a building inspector who had once reviewed the site.

In this case, the man’s medical history could play a large part in the outcome of the wrongful death lawsuit. Those medical records could convince the jury of a civil case that the man’s heart condition was stable prior to the accident and that its severity was increased due to his involvement with the building collapse.

Source: WPVI-TV, “7TH Death Blamed on 2013 Philly Building Collapse”, July 22, 2014

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