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Did Construction Flaws Cause Berkeley Balcony Collapse?

premises liability cautionThe latest investigation reports into a collapse of an apartment balcony in Berkeley, CA may point to construction flaws as the root cause of the fatal accident. The immediate cause of the balcony’s collapse appears to have been dry rot. Six students died and several were injured during the accident, which occurred on June 16 when several students, many Irish nationals on a work visa program, had gathered for a birthday celebration.

At Ellis Law, our Los Angeles premises liability lawyers are closely following the story. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims who have been injured or lost lives due to the negligence of those responsible for maintaining safe work and residential environments for California residents.

We believe that negligent parties must be held accountable when innocent lives are taken because of oversights in construction or lax property maintenance. It is our mission to ensure that those who have suffered due to such negligence should be compensated for their losses in an appropriate manner.

LA premises liability lawyers follow investigation

All indications point to dry rot as the cause for the balcony’s collapse, with engineers who examined the site pointing out clear evidence that water damage had weakened the wooden beams that held up the structure. Other balconies attached to the building also appear to be in danger of collapsing.

The most troubling fact about the accident, however, is that the apartment building was constructed only eight years ago, raising questions for the attorneys at Ellis Law about the root cause for the dry rot problem. Our lawyers have additional concerns due to the fact that many balconies found in low-rise buildings of Berkeley follow the same type of construction.

Recent reports suggest that the balconies at 2020 Kittredge St. were designed to standards above code and should have been able to support the weight of the students assembled there. It may be, however, that flaws in the building’s construction allowed water to enter, but not exit, and allowed for rot to occur over a fairly brief period of time. Segue Construction Inc. of Pleasanton, CA was the lead contractor for the building. Since 2013, they have settled two other lawsuits regarding premature balcony collapses in California to the tune of $6.5 million, raising questions about their role in this disaster.

Legal assistance for injured victims in LA

At Ellis Law, we stand ready to assist those injured at work, residential, or recreation sites due to poor building management or construction. Liable parties include a hotel or apartment manager who did not maintain proper security, allowing for a crime to be committed, a maintenance supervisor who knowingly allowed a fire or slip-and-fall hazard that led to an accident to remain in place, or a construction company that provided faulty safety equipment to a workplace, leading to death or injury.

If shoddy construction or poor maintenance was responsible for errors that led to this balcony collapse as well, victims may have the right to pursue a premises liability lawsuit in Los Angeles.  To discuss your legal options with veteran attorneys who get results in Southern California, call Ellis Law at 1-800-INJURED to set up your free consultation.