Among the many damages our insurance litigation lawyers encounter in industrial settings, some of the worst involve structural failures in high-rise buildings. There are often many companies and workers involved in the building of these structures. When something goes wrong, insurance claims can get complicated and costly. Structural failures can occur at any point in a building's "life cycle," meaning it can happen when it's being constructed, when it's being used, or when it's being demolished.
There are many different reasons why structural failures can occur. It could be due to a flawed initial design, faulty materials, poor construction, overloaded capacity, or serious natural disasters. Some failures are avoidable, while others are less so.
According to Structure Magazine, premature removal of formwork during construction is one of the most common causes of failures. It references the collapse of Baileys Crossroads in 1973 in Fairfax, Virginia. Concrete was being placed on the 24th floor while formwork was being removed on the 22nd floor. The fresh concrete was only supported by the 23rd floor, which caused the slabs to collapse all the way down to the ground. In addition to the extreme structural damage, 14 workers were killed and 35 were injured.
More recently, you may remember hearing about a building in downtown Philadelphia that collapsed. It was in the process of being demolished and collapsed onto a neighboring Salvation Army thrift store, killing two employees and four customers. The entire situation is still under investigation, but it was found that the demolition contractor violated several federal safety regulations. It was also found that the crane operator working on the demolition at the time was high on marijuana.
Regardless of the cause, the insurance litigation attorneys at The Voss Law Firm, P.C. can help you through every step of the insurance claim process. Call today for a free consultation at 888-614-7730.