A partial settlement has been reached in the aftermath of a balcony collapse at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, California that tragically killed six college students.
A partial settlement has been reached in the aftermath of a balcony collapse at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, California that tragically killed six college students. The lawsuit was settled between victims of the accident and a handful of the companies they sued back in 2015. Though details of the settlement are confidential at the moment, lawyers “for the families of the students who died and seven others who were injured” are pleased with the agreement.
In a statement issued recently, attorney Matthew D. Davis said: “this settlement will never restore health or life but reflects an element of justice from the wrongdoers for the deaths and serious injuries caused by the tragedy.” Davis is right. Tragedies happen all the time, and while nothing can ever replace what is lost, it always helps when some form of justice is served.
But where and how did the accident occur? Were there any warning signs before the balcony collapsed? Well for starters, many of the students who were either killed or injured in the accident were from Ireland, and were attending a birthday party in June of 2015 when the collapse occurred, sending them plummeting “50 feet down to the street below.”
However, the balcony didn’t just suddenly decide to collapse. In fact, according to lawsuits filed in Alameda County Superior Court, previous tenants “reported seeing mushrooms on the balcony, but the building’s manager did not close the structure off.” According to the lawsuits, “the mushrooms showed the balcony’s wooden support beams were rotting.” Later, an investigation by the city “revealed the wooden beams had rotted through from water damage.”
Because of this, many of the families impacted by the accident are pushing for “legislative changes to building codes and reporting requirements for shoddy construction work.” And, understandably, many companies have been sued in relation to the balcony collapse, including the building owner and a construction company. While the building owner, BlackRock, and the building manager, Greystar, have yet to “agree to settle,” Segue Construction “is among seven companies that agreed to the undisclosed settlement.” According to the lawsuit, the construction company “used cheaper materials to construct the balcony, making it more susceptible to water damage.”
Because the building owner and building manager haven’t agreed to a settlement yet, the lawsuits against them are still ongoing. So far, both have declined to comment.