A tragedy in Philadelphia made national news recently. The planned demolition of a building turned deadly when a four-story brick wall came crashing down onto a small Salvation Army Thrift Store next door. Six people who were in the one-story shop were killed in this fatal accident and another 13 were injured.
Buildings are demolished safely every day, but the company that handled this demolition has been accused of unsafe practices and dangerous work conditions. The mayor has acknowledged that there were complaints about the work at the demolition site that were never followed up on.
The excavator operator who toppled the brick wall onto the store has since been arrested on six charges of manslaughter after a toxicology test determined that he was high on marijuana at the time of the fatal accident.
Two of the six who lost their lives in this tragic accident worked at the small thrift store, while other victims were simply shopping. Rescue crews combed the rubble, looking for survivors; in all, 14 people survived.
Losing a loved one is always a difficult and sad experience. But when someone’s death is unexpected and due to the negligence of another, it is particularly egregious; to know that a loved one’s death was so unnecessary and preventable causes pain that is unspeakable.
There is no financial compensation that can make up for the wrongful death of a loved one. There may also be unforeseen financial needs that prove to be a burden on grieving family members. Funeral costs, loss of income and support are only part of the financial drain that surviving family members may face.
Of course, there is no adequate measure for other damages, such as mental anguish or pain and suffering. But when a loved one is lost due to the negligence of another party, families need to know that the responsible party has been called to account. Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one that was caused by someone else may choose to consult an attorney who has experience in wrongful death actions to discuss their legal options.
Source: ABC News, “Excavator Operator Surrenders in Philadelphia Building Collapse,” Dean Schabner and Josh Margolin, June 8, 2013