We wrote last month about the accident that happened in the April 28 storm at Kilroy’s Sports Bar in St. Louis, and stated that lawsuits had been filed. One such lawsuit was filed by the wife of a man killed. She has filed a wrongful death suit against the pub and the company that leased and installed the tent that collapsed on more than 100 patrons. Alfred Goodman, 58, suffered head and neck injuries when heavy wind gusts — estimated at up to 50 mph — lifted a party tent at the bar from its moorings and pushed it and its heavy metal posts against a railroad trestle. Mr. Goodman died from his injuries. Another 16 people were hurt and went to the hospital, and about 100 total were treated on the scene, for a range of injuries.
The Goodman lawsuit alleges that the bar was negligent in failing to properly inspect the tent and by allowing customers underneath it, even as weather forecasts warned of dangerous conditions. It also claims Sun Rental Inc. erred in installing and inspecting the tent. City rules require that tents covering at least 1,000 square feet for public use be strong enough for a 90 mph wind. There will be an issue with both the installation and the inspection of the tent. The tent itself will also be an issue insofar as its capacity to withstand high winds.
This is the third lawsuit stemming from the incident. Janet Martinez, 45, and Kurt Volk, 25, both of St. Louis, had previously filed personal injury lawsuits. Ms. Martinez claimed severe injuries, including a fractured cervical spine. In the Volk lawsuit, it was claimed his left shoulder was fractured and his shoulder joint was separated. These two suits made many of the same claims as the one filed in St. Louis Circuit Court by Shelley Goodman, Alfred Goodman’s wife of 36 years.
The incident prompted City Public Safety Director Eddie Roth to call for changes to safety regulations that would require evacuations of large public tents during warnings of severe weather. Kilroy’s had obtained a city permit for the tent. But city officials noted that their inspectors have no way to test a tent for structural strength to make sure it can withstand 90 mph winds, an industry standard cited in the local ordinance.
On occasion, when an incident like the tent collapse occurs, resulting in the death of a person, the public reads the names of victims, but really knows very little about them. It might be worthwhile to mention a little more about this victim. Alfred Goodman, a retired ironworker and long-time St. Louis Cardinals fan, had been at the game with his brother. Like many fans, the two brothers went to Kilroy’s after the game. In this case, Alfred Goodman had been looking forward to the June 9th wedding of one of his three daughters. He had grown up on the farm his parents owned outside of Waterloo. He had worked on the McKinley and Jefferson Barracks bridges. He also had worked at the Chrysler plant in Fenton as a spot welder and he then attended an apprentice school for ironworkers. Goodman was a member of Iron Workers Local 392.
It will be interesting to see how these lawsuits develop. We will monitor their progress as they travel through the system.
Source: St. Louis Today
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