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Lawsuit Filed in Aftermath of the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel Collapse

— October 23, 2019

A lawsuit alleging negligence was recently filed in the aftermath of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans.

The first lawsuit has been filed after the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans that was under construction partially collapsed. As a result, two people were killed and many more were injured. The suit was filed on behalf of ten people who claim they sustained injuries when the hotel collapsed. According to the suit, the building collapsed due to “cost-cutting and inadequate structural support.”

Image of the New Orleans Central Business District
New Orleans Central Business District; image courtesy of United States Navy via Wikimedia Commons,

The collapse occurred during construction when the top floors of the building began to buckle. Before the collapse, developers had spent several years prepping the are for construction and had to tackle a variety of issues, “including a jail sentence for one developer who was sentenced to prison for over-billing a government program.” Named as defendants in the suit are the “developers, architect, engineers and builders.”

The victims of the collapse are represented by attorneys Rene Rocha and Steve Herman. In a statement, they said, “the primary goal is to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.” What happened, though? Why did the building collapse?

According to the lawsuit, the structure itself wasn’t designed to “bear the loads it was intended to hold.” Additionally, the suit alleges the concrete that was poured during the construction process wasn’t “given enough time to cure and that unskilled and under-supervised labor was used.” It further states:

Delays, design changes, and shortcuts created extra challenges to the project…The developers were supposed to submit pile load tests to city planners showing the piles could hold 125 tons. But they instead submitted tests from a different project that had been tested for 50 tons.”

As if that isn’t bad enough, the building also allegedly had “an insufficient number of supports. Problems with the structure began making themselves known before the collapse but they were ignored. For example, ‘dips’ began to appear in “concrete decking on the upper floors,” a clear sign that the concrete hadn’t had enough time to cure. When concrete isn’t allowed enough time to cure, the structure becomes unsafe. Despite this, construction was allowed to continue. The suit alleges the collapse “would not have occurred, but for the negligence and failures of the defendants.”

Citadel Builders was the company working on building the development. Following the collapse, it stated that it was “shocked and saddened by the deaths and grateful that most of the injured have returned home.” The company also pledged that “safety would remain a priority” and added:

While we don’t yet know what caused the accident at the Hard Rock site, we would like our clients, friends, and the general public to rest assured that we are working with some of the finest engineering minds in the world and will get to the bottom of it.”


New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel collapse: Lawsuit alleges negligence, cost-cutting

Victims of Hard Rock Hotel collapse file lawsuit alleging negligence

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