PHILADELPHIA, PA–(Marketwired – Jun 12, 2013) – A four-story building under demolition toppled onto and crushed a Salvation Army store last Wednesday, killing six people and injuring a dozen more. As the city investigates those responsible for this tragedy, questions regarding wrongful death, property damage and other issues emerge.
The magnitude of last week's collapse suggests that Philadelphia citizens are the ones who suffer the consequences when companies fail to follow safety regulations. To fight back, personal injury law firms obtain justice on behalf of those injured and send a message through legal claims that public policy shouldn't allow these incidents to continue to endanger people.
The law allows deceased individuals' estates to seek monetary recovery for those who died as a result of others' negligence. Legal claims can be brought under two legal theories: claims known as wrongful death on behalf of the deceased's dependents, and survival claims which can include pain and suffering of the deceased before death, loss of potential earnings by the deceased and loss to the spouse. Lawsuits might be brought against parties that failed to act with due care in the demolition of the building, inspection of the ongoing work, and engineering of the procedure.
Claims may also be made for damage to property, specifically that of the thrift store crushed by the collapse. Salvation Army may have an insurance policy that will pay for the damage, but the insurer may then in turn seek subrogation from the negligent parties' insurance company for the amount paid for damage to the property and contents.
Some of the victims worked at the Salvation Army store and may be able to make workers compensation claims against the organization's insurer to pay for lost wages and medical bills. The workers compensation insurer may then be able to file a claim against those responsible.
There may be legal or legislative steps to improve public policy, which may include: new requirements and codes, stricter permit guidelines, stronger penalties, and better standards for commercial landowners.