Philadelphia Construction Worker Death July 10, 2018
A building collapse at Jefferson and Bailey Streets in North Philadelphia claimed the life of a prominent contractor in June. The vacant property had been cited for numerous violations by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) and was slated to be demolished by hand-method after being deemed unsafe. A Brewerytown contractor hired to perform the demolition of the 2,800 square foot building was fatally injured when it collapsed.
The exterior of the structure was not sound, and the demolition permit stated that the building should be demolished by “hand-method only” because it was classified as a dangerous case. The contractor was crushed under bricks and rubble when the back of the building collapsed. According to his brother-in-law, the trapped man cried for help, but he and coworkers were unable to remove the debris that had collected on top of him in time to save him. Another worker on the site survived the incident unharmed after also being trapped beneath the rubble.
Vacant Buildings Pose Dangers
Neighbors reported seeing the property sit vacant for years and rack up L&I violations before being bought, along with an adjacent property, by a development group for $260,000. Recently, Philadelphia has experienced an unprecedented building development boom as developers began to undertake redevelopment projects in previously neglected areas like Brewerytown. While these abandoned, low-priced properties can generate huge profits for developers, they also pose significant dangers to the contractors hired to work on them.
According to information published by L&I in January 2018, nearly 180 properties were deemed “imminently dangerous” and ordered to be demolished immediately due to their significant health and safety concerns. Also, about 4,400 properties were deemed “unsafe” like the one that resulted in the death of the Brewerytown contractor. Unexpected collapses such as in this case have become quite common in Philadelphia. At least 12 buildings have unexpectedly collapsed since 2014.
Part of a North Philadelphia apartment building collapsed in 2015, followed by the collapse of a Southwest Philadelphia warehouse in 2016 and a home in Germantown in 2018. The Brewerytown incident occurred just one day before the city’s fifth anniversary observance of the fatal Salvation Army building collapse that killed seven people. Although an L&I spokeswoman notes that only a small number of building collapses occur during construction, construction advocates say that building collapse is one of the dangers presented by the development boom.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Represent Injured Those Injured in Building Collapse Accidents
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a construction accident, contact the experienced and compassionate Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP. We will fight to recover the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey from our offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Bethlehem and Reading. Call us at 800-222-8792 today or contact us online to discuss your case.