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First Lawsuit From Philly Building Collapse Is Filed

8/20/2013 | Construction Blog

The first lawsuit relating to the fatal building collapse at 22nd and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia has been filed. Mariya Plekan, a Ukranian immigrant, has brought suit and listed a number of devastating injuries.

Plekan is reported to have been shopping in the Salvation Army building next door to the property on which the excavation contractor was working at the time of the accident. When the wall collapsed and fell onto the roof of the Salvation Army building, Plekan was trapped under the rubble for 13 hours. She has lost both legs as a result of the accident and claims other medical problems that include kidney failure and cardiac arrest. Plekan remains in very guarded condition at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

Plekan’s lawsuit will likely be complicated by an ongoing criminal investigation that likely takes precedence over her civil claims. Her medical condition is also a hurdle, as she may not be available to pursue her claims given her current health. Her attorney has already indicated a desire to take her testimony and record it since there is a threat that she might not be available at the time of trial.

This is likely the first of many lawsuits that will result from the tragic events of June 5, 2013. It also serves as a sobering reminder that safety is a culture and eternal vigilance on the issue is required.