6 students killed in balcony collapse

People in Washington may have heard about the tragic accident that recently happened in Berkeley. According to authorities, a total of 13 people fell four stories when the apartment balcony on which they were standing suddenly gave way, killing six of them.

Sources indicate the students were at the apartment to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Five of the students who died were from Ireland, while the sixth was from California. All were either 21 or 22 years old. Besides the six who died, seven more were transported to area hospitals for treatment of serious injuries.

Authorities were uncertain about what caused the balcony to fall. The structure had a concrete floor and it appeared to have torn free from the building. Reportedly, people had called earlier in the evening to complain about the noise from the party, but police were attending to other calls in the area. Upon receiving 911 calls following the collapse, police were apparently on-scene within two minutes.

When a person is killed due to a hazardous condition on premises owned by another, the surviving family members may have grounds to file a type of personal injury lawsuit under a theory of premises liability for the wrongful death. Through these types of suits, the property owner may be held to be personally liable and ordered to pay damages. Available damages might include medical expenses, loss of support and companionship, burial and funeral expenses and others that may be permitted by statute. The family of those killed may thus want to seek the assistance of an attorney in the preparation and filing of the claim.

Source: CNN, “Balcony collapses during Irish students’ party in Berkeley, killing 6,” Jason Hanna and Peter Taggart, June 16, 2015

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