Five new lawsuits filed in fatal building collapse

Jun 10, 2013, 17:31 ET from Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.

PHILADELPHIA, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Five more complaints naming the building owner, his demolition contractor and subcontractor, and the equipment operator have been filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in the aftermath of last week's deadly collapse of the vacant 2134 Market St. building onto the operating Salvation Army Family Store at 2140 Market St., according to attorneys for the Firm. Six people in the store were killed and more than one dozen were injured in the demolition disaster.

The newly filed complaints list the following plaintiffs:

  • Jennifer Reynolds, 27, of Philadelphia. An event planner, she was shopping in the store at the time of the collapse after which she was trapped in the rubble before being rescued. Her injuries to the face, head and neck were extensive. (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, June 2013-No. 001236)
  • Bernard DiTomo, 61, of Broomall, Delaware County. He is a construction worker who was in his truck on 22nd St. when it was struck by flying debris. He sustained injuries to his upper body and is being treated for those and respiratory complications.  (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, June 2013-No. 001235)
  • Felicia Hill, 36, of Philadelphia.  The store sales associate, employed by the Salvation Army for about eight months and mother of seven, was battered by the falling debris. (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, June 2013-No. 001353).
  • Rosemary Kreutzberg, 66, of Philadelphia. A retired insurance professional, she was shopping at the time of the collapse. She was thrown to the ground, her head was pinned under debris, and could move only an arm and a leg for nearly three hours. (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, June 2013-No. 001363)
  • Rodney Geddis, 21, of Philadelphia. A store sales associate for more than two years., he lost consciousness, and doesn't even recall how he escaped. He suffered a significant blow to the head, serious back injuries and abdominal bleeding. (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, June 2013-No. 001379))

On June 6, the Firm filed the first action arising from the incident on behalf of 54-year-old Nadine White, a sales associate of the store who was smothered in the collapse and injured. Richard Basciano, of New York City, the building owner; his company, STB Investments Corp. a/k/a PENNA CORP., of Philadelphia, Griffin T. Campbell, of Philadelphia, the demolition contractor, and his Nicetown House Development Corp., dba Griffin Campbell Construction, of Philadelphia, were named as defendants. Those defendants are named in the new set of filings along with equipment operator Sean Benschop and S&R Contracting, Inc., of Philadelphia, which subcontracted the demolition to Campbell.

Following the initial filing (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas-June Term, No. 00987) Mongeluzzi and his team last Friday obtained a court order to compel the defendants to preserve potential evidence and allow them to conduct an on-site inspection of scene. That inspection occurred yesterday and included the attorneys and their forensic construction and demotion expert.

"This is an ongoing investigation, but we saw nothing on the site to change our opinion that the building demolition was a disaster waiting to occur," said Mr. Mongeluzzi. "They had no plan, no skill, and no regard for human life."

Mr. Mongeluzzi and his firm are the nation's leading construction collapse trial attorneys representing victims and their survivors of deadly worksite accidents. They were lead counsel in the Atlantic City Tropicana Casino collapse that killed four construction workers, the Pier 34 collapse that killed three young women, and the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts collapse that seriously injured seven construction workers.

Mr. Mongeluzzi's co-counsel from SMBB are Larry Bendesky, Andrew R. Duffy,  Jeffrey P. Goodman. In the matter of Ms. Hill,  their co-counsel is R. Emmett Madden, of the Law Offices of R. Emmett Madden. And in the case filed on behalf of Mr. DiTomo, they are co-counsel with Daniel Schwarz of Schwarz & Schwarz .

SOURCE Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.