July 20, 2020 Roof Collapse Leads To $2.5 Million Dollar Settlement

A 52 year old man from Keansburg, New Jersey was killed when a roof collapsed at a construction site at the Beachwood Shopping Plaza, a derelict set of 22 stores in Berkeley Township, New Jersey that were being demolished to make way for a new Town Center.

The victim was an equipment mechanic but had no experience in demolition. On the day of the accident, he was asked to weaken certain support columns in an abandoned Woolworth store in the shopping center by making cuts with an acetylene torch.  Once he started with making the cuts, the roof started to give way.  Unfortunately, he was not able to escape the building in time and the roof collapsed on him. 

The man was survived by three sons, who came to Maggs & McDermott for help getting justice for their father.  Maggs & McDermott sued the contractor, Edgewood Properties, LLC, the redeloper, Berkeley Redevelopers, LLC, and the landowner, Beachwood Mall, LLC.

During the litigation, Maggs & McDermott discovered that Berkeley Redevelopers and EP Equipment failed to have the Woolworth building evaluated by a qualified demolition engineer to assess the stability of the building and to properly plan the demolition.  What’s more, they assigned the demolition to an employee who had no experience in it.

Maggs & McDermott advanced claims on behalf of the Estate for both wrongful death and survivorship. These claims took into consideration the physical pain and mental anguish  experienced up to the point of death, as well as the financial support that his sons lost as the result of his death. 

Maggs & McDermott’s painstaking preparation of the case involved the retention of experts in demolition, human factors, engineering, orthopaedic medicine, psychiatry and economics.

The Firm settled the Estate’s survivorship and wrongful death claims for a total of $2.5 million.

*Results may vary depending on particular facts and legal circumstances.