The widow of a 59-year-old man who died weeks after being injured in the Market Street building collapse in Philadelphia recently filed a wrongful death suit against 18 different defendants. The collapse occurred in June 2013, when a New York developer's building collapsed on top of a Salvation Army thrift store. Both the Salvation Army and the developer are named as defendants in the wrongful death suit.
Reportedly, the 59-year-old man was one of 19 people patronizing the thrift store at the time of the incident. As a result of the collapse, he became trapped beneath debris for approximately one hour. According to authorities, the man died a few weeks later from injuries suffered in the accident. Altogether, seven people died and 13 people were injured in connection with the collapse.
According to the lawsuit, both the New York developer and the Salvation Army store were mindful of the possibility that a collapse could occur at the Market Street location. However, neither party acted on behalf of the safety of the thrift store's employees and patrons, the suit claims. Furthermore, the suit alleges that the New York developer was at the scene of the collapse and left immediately after it occurred.
This case illustrates one course of action available to the families of fatal accident victims. If there is evidence indicating that a fatal accident was caused by another party's actionable behavior, then certain family members of the deceased victims may retain a wrongful death attorney and file suit against the at-fault party. In this way, bereaved family members may seek financial compensation for economic damages they suffered in connection with the fatal accident, such as funeral expenses and lost earnings.
Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Lawsuit Blames 7th Death on Market Street Building Collapse", Karen Araiza, July 23, 2014