Berkeley Balcony Collapse: Attorneys Note Possible Cause

Premises liability attorneys note with sadness the tragic collapse of a balcony at the Liberty Apartments in Berkeley, California that killed 6 people and injured 7 others on June 15, 2015. A preliminary investigation of the accident suggests that dry rot in supporting beams contributed to the Berkeley balcony collapse.

Property owners have the responsibility to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. When they fail to do this and people are injured or killed, the property owner may be liable for damages. If you or a loved one has been injured in a property accident, contact Attorney Group to learn more about your options. We offer free, no obligation consultations, and if you have a case we can connect you with an affiliated attorney you can assist you through the legal process. The time to pursue a claim is limited, so contact us today.

Reports: Supporting Wood in the Balcony Had Rotted

 The Los Angeles Times reports engineers who visited the accident scene noted what they described as a “classic case of dry rot.” Water had infiltrated the wooden beams supporting the balcony and, with more than a dozen people present on the balcony, it lacked support strength and failed. Other clues that the wood had rotted include:

  • Visible mold in one of the broken wooden joists
  • Short wood fibers present at the failure point, a sign of dry rot
  • Disintegration of the wooden joists in the floor the balcony

The Liberty Gardens apartment complex has more than 175 rental units and is owned by an investment fund managed by the BlackRock asset management firm.

Owners Must Keep Property Reasonable Safe

Property owners are responsible for keeping their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Property should be built and maintained in such a way that even unseen dangers may be discovered and remedied. If an accident on property is the result of faulty construction, in some instances the builder may be liable to the injured party. Failure to use ordinary care in the construction or maintenance of property, or failing to maintain property in a reasonable safe condition, may be considered negligence, and people injured as a result of another person’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

People Can be Compensated for Injuries Caused by Negligence

If negligence by a person or company causes injury, the injured person may be able to recover damages to compensate them for their losses, including:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering

If a person is killed due to another’s negligence, surviving family member may recover damages for the wrongful death of a loved one, including:

  • Loss of Companionship
  • Loss of Economic Support
  • Grief and Mental Anguish

If the death or injury was caused by extreme recklessness or an intent to harm, the responsible party may have to pay punitive damages as both a punishment for the wrongdoing and to deter similar conduct in the future.

The Time to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.

If you have been injured due to a property owner’s negligence, contact Attorney Group today. We offer free, confidential and no obligation consultations, and we can discuss your options with you. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated premises liability attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process. The time to pursue a claim is limited, so contact us today.