The families of nine men killed or injured in the collapse of a South Florida community college parking garage last year have settled lawsuits against the general contractor and several subcontractors. The terms of the settlements are confidential. The wrongful death and injury lawsuits were filed by relatives of the four workers who lost their lives – Jose Calderon, Robert Budhoo, Samuel Perez and Carlos Mendoza – and five severely injured workers – Christian Ramirez, Francisco Castaneda, Frank Stankus, Anslim Antoine and Mark DiBacco. The Defendants were general contractor Ajax Building Corp. and several subcontractors.
The five-story, $20 million concrete garage, located on Miami Dade College’s west campus, collapsed on October 10, 2012. The body of one worker was not recovered for more than a week because the accident site was so unstable. Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalized Ajax and four other companies more than $38,000 combined for the collapse. OSHA found evidence of missing welds and grout in some support columns, failure to properly brace columns and failure to inspect 18 columns as required. OSHA also said contractors didn’t follow project drawings and instructions. The result, according to the citations, was a failure to provide a workplace “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”
The 1,855-space garage project involved use of pre-cast concrete construction, a common method in which massive concrete pieces are created off-site and slotted into place by workers often using large cranes. The first floor was to have office and classroom space. Stuart Z. Grossman, Ervin Gonzalez and Alan Goldfarb, all lawyers from different firms in Miami, Florida, represented the Plaintiffs in this case. They did a very good job in this case.
Source: Miami Herald
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