Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Claim says Pennsylvania contractor was too cheap to be safe

Employers often feel justified for skimping on workplace safety. Taking a risk may save money for the company or a client, but frugality can backfire. When something goes wrong on the job, accident victims aren't usually managers or owners but workers and sometimes innocent bystanders.

A Pennsylvania woman's life hangs in the balance after losing the lower half of her body in a Philadelphia building collapse. A negligence lawsuit has been filed against parties involved in a failed demolition project next to a Salvation Army store where the woman was shopping.

The lawsuit alleges the owner and contractors of a four-story building under demolition and thrift store officials shared fault for the 52-year-old woman's life-threatening injuries. The shopper was buried under brick rubble for more than half a day in June after a wall collapsed on top of her.

The thrift shop was blamed for endangering customers by not shutting down during demolition. Store operators said they were assured by the owner of the neighboring building that demolition crews would employ hand tools, not an excavator that was in use just before the collapse.

The lawsuit states the accident that killed six people and injured more than a dozen others was avoidable. The building owner and contractor apparently abandoned the idea of renting a costly lift that would have improved site safety tremendously.

Involuntary manslaughter charges were filed against a subcontractor who was injured when the wall fell. A chemical test detected the man had smoked a significant amount of marijuana.

A petition was filed to allow the permanently disabled victim to record testimony. Her legal counselor is afraid she may die before a court can hear her story.

Companies are financially and sometimes criminally accountable for poor business decisions that disregard the safety of workers and the public. Wrongful death attorneys back the rights of victims of unsafe business practices.

Source:, "Lawsuit: Firm in deadly collapse avoided safer equipment" Bob Warner, Aug. 31, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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