The architect involved in the demolition of a building that resulted in the deaths of six individuals in a neighboring store has been subpoenaed to appear in court. The workplace accident that killed employees of a thrift shop occurred as a tall brick wall fell on the facility during the demolition. The architect has been asked to turn over related documents and has partially complied. However, his lawyer has cited the Fifth Amendment and his client’s right to avoid self-incrimination with respect to the remaining documents requested.
The lawyer for the architect indicates that his client is concerned about a grand jury investigation into the incident. OSHA has requested plans for safety and procedure in the demolition as well as photos and communications involving the contractor. A subcontractor has been charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the deceased individuals, and a number of civil lawsuits are pending.
As survivors deal with the impact of the incident on their families, there will be many stresses and expenses. Those whose deceased family members were employed at the thrift store may be entitled to certain death benefits from the state’s worker’s compensation resources under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. In coming months, these survivors will need to evaluate a variety of options for recovering financially and emotionally from the unexpected loss of their loved ones.
In a case of a workplace accident, workers or their surviving dependents who may be unsure of their rights may wish to speak with an attorney who is experienced in workers’ compensation. The attorney may be able to determine the appropriate methods by wish to seek restitution.
Source: The Republic, “Philadelphia architect fights OSHA subpoena in fatal building collapse; due in court Wednesday”, October 15, 2013