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Balcony Collapse in Berkeley, California Leave 6 Dead, 7 Injured

Six students, five of which were foreign exchange students from Ireland, died Tuesday after a balcony collapsed on a fourth floor apartment.  Seven other students also sustained severe and life threatening injures.  The students had gathered at the Library Gardens apartment complex at 2020 Kittredge Street to celebrate a 21st birthday party of one of their fellow students.  Authorities say that all of the students and potentially more were on the balcony around 1 a.m. when it gave way.

This is clearly a horrible tragedy where six young lives were taken far too soon.  What makes disasters like this even more unthinkable is when they could have been prevented.  While no official reports or findings have been made regarding the balcony, initial photographs from the scene show some potential problems with the design and construction of the balcony.

As can be seen from the photo above, the supports for the balcony are clearly made of wood.  While that is not a problem by itself, some other design defects could create problems when wood is used.  One major downfall of using wood in this situation is that it can rot when wet.  A mistake that many designers make is using stucco or other similar materials for the balcony that do not protect the wood from rain or other water that may gather on the balcony.  Untreated wood used for framing is susceptible to rotting that greatly weakens the wood.  A close look at the photos of the balcony shows that the wood appears to be rotting, which could have greatly contributed to the failure.

Mistakes like this often give rise to very lengthy and complicated lawsuits. The attorneys at Fisher Injury Lawyers are uniquely qualified to handle such claims.  We have significant experience handling significant, multi-party lawsuits all over the United States and have a team of attorneys ready to get to work on your case immediately.  Additionally, attorney-engineer Chris J. Day obtained his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and has knowledge of balcony design and potential failures that few attorneys across the country possess.  This knowledge puts him in a rare position to discuss the details of the case with the many engineers and experts that will become involved as well as having the ability to break down the aspects of the design failure with a jury in terms that they will understand.  Give Chris J. Day and the attorneys at Fisher Injury Lawyers a call today and get them working on your side.

Chris J. Day, Attorney-Engineer


Source: SF Gate

Chris J. Day, Attorney-Engineer

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