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Could More Have Been Done to Protect Three DC Construction Workers Injured in a Hotel Wall Collapse?

Posted on February 3, 2016 to

Late last month, there were three DC construction workers injured in a hotel wall collapse, according to The Washington Post. The incident, which involved the collapse of a brick and concrete wall, reportedly took place at the Savoy Suites Hotel and left two of the three injured construction workers in critical condition.

The section of the hotel wall that collapsed was a 30 feet long piece of decorative veneer consisting of brick and concrete located next to the awning that leads into the hotel’s front entrance. The construction accident happened a little past noon on a Thursday, leaving bricks all over the hotel’s driveway and a large piece of concrete transom hanging near the front doors.

The two construction workers that were severely injured were each found trapped under a pile of bricks when first responders arrived. Hotel guests were told to remain in their rooms during the rescue, which resulted in the construction workers being freed from under the piles of bricks and rushed to the hospital.

As of this report, it is unclear what led to the wall’s collapse, what the construction workers were doing prior to the incident or whether or not the workers were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

What Could Have Caused the Building Collapse?

There can be several reasons a building or sections of a building collapse, including:

  • Poor design – Engineering mistakes, such as relying on data that is inaccurate, choosing the wrong building materials or computation errors.
  • Foundation failure – This involves a structure built on earth that is not able to bear its load. A famous example would the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • Construction errors – Examples include using poorly done riveting, use of substandard steel or using sand that is salty to make concrete.
  • Extraordinary loads – This generally involves a natural disaster of some sort, such as large snowfalls, hurricane-force winds or earthquake-level vibrations.

For construction workers hurt in building collapses and their families, life can become extremely difficult in the wake of the incident. They often have to deal with a long recovery period, may not be able to work and face mountains of hospital bills. In such cases, options such as workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit are available to help workers and their families afford medical care and living expenses, allowing them to concentrate on their recovery and wellbeing.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/dc-firefighters-responding-to-building-collapse-two-hurt/2016/01/21/69ce51d4-c068-11e5-bcda-62a36b394160_story.html