First lawsuit against demolition company filed in Philadelphia building collapse

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by Heygood Orr and Pearson

A 54 year old woman who was pulled from the rubble of the recent Philadelphia building collapse has filed a lawsuit against the owner of the building and the contractor who was hired to oversee its demolition. Nadine White was one of 13 people who were injured in the construction site accident near a Philadelphia Salvation Army thrift. Six others—including two of White’s co-workers—were killed in the accident.

According to police reports, a four story building that adjoined the Philadelphia thrift store where White worked collapsed at about 10:40am—a busy time of day for the store. At the time of the collapse, the building was under demolition and was scheduled to come down not long after.

The construction accident attorney who filed White’s lawsuit has alleged that the contractor who was hired to bring down the now collapsed building violated federal regulations by failing to conduct an engineering survey of the site before proceeding with the demolition. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also requires walls of more than one story to be braced during a demolition to prevent collapse. According to the lawsuit, this was not done at the Philadelphia demolition site.

After the building collapse, White was trapped for 10 minutes beneath debris before being pulled from the rubble by rescue workers. Another victim—the last to be pulled from the collapsed building—was trapped beneath debris for 13 hours before being rescued.