The family of Mary Lea Simpson, a 24 year old woman killed in the 22nd and Market collapse while shopping in the Salvation Army store, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The suit names several parties as defendants: The Salvation Army; Richard Basciano (the owner of the collapsed building adjacent to the Salvation Army); STB Investments Corporation (Basciano's Real Estate Company); Griffin Campbell (the demolition contractor); Sean Benschop (the operator of the excavator); and Plato Marinakos (the architect who hired Griffin Campbell as contractor).
Steve Wigrizer, the attorney representing Ms. Simpson's family said that the lack of bracing on the exterior wall being demolished was evidence of serious negligence: "Even a child playing with building blocks would understand that if you don't brace a wall, it's going to collapse... . And you have to take down a building from the top, block by block".
Mr. Wigrizer also noted that the Salvation Army refused to let Griffin Campbell into the premises to protect the structure from collapsing.
It's likely that more wrongful death suits will follow this one, and that they'll build off of this one.
· Building owner, Salvation Army targeted in collapse lawsuit [PHL Business Journal]