Six People Die in Berkeley Balcony Collapse


Six People Die in Berkeley Balcony Collapse

I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley personal injury lawyer. Last week, the licensing board for California contractors announced a settlement that includes revoking the license of a Pleasanton-based general contractor. The contractor in question was responsible for the construction of a balcony that collapsed at an apartment complex in Berkeley in 2015.

What Happened

At a birthday party near the campus of UC Berkeley, attended by students from Ireland, the fourth-floor balcony collapsed, killing six of the students and injuring an additional seven. The accident occurred just after 12:20 a.m. Four of the students perished at the site, and two others who were transported to a hospital died soon after. Of the injured students, two were reported to be in critical condition at medical centers.

The Accident Investigation

Independent investigators reported that the balcony had been weakened by rain, causing the wood to develop dry rot. According to the investigators, rot occurs when a property isn’t properly sealed against the elements. A lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleged that the company departed from the specifications or building plans and intentionally ignored trade standards for the construction work in the building. In addition to the revocation of the contractor’s license for five years, the CSLB ordered that the cost of the investigation must be reimbursed before a new license will be issued. The managing officer and the responsible managing officer of the company must also file a disciplinary bond for two years of $15,000 to $150,000 with the CSLB.

High Collapse Rate for Balconies, Decks, Porches and Open Floors

Improper protection from the elements, age and neglect can cause weakening of a balcony and have serious results if that balcony collapses. This can cause severe injuries, both physically and emotionally. It may also result in the unnecessary death of a loved one.  Statistics on decks, balconies, open floors and porches show that over 20,000 injuries were caused from structural collapse in the years 2003 through 2007 alone. This type of injury, when it is due to negligence or bad maintenance, can leave the injured person with high medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, loss of income and other costs they should not have to bear alone. An experienced personal injury attorney can help recover these costs, so the injured person can work toward getting well instead of worrying about finances.

Injuries from a balcony fall can include:


Attorney Ed Smith

Berkeley Balcony Collapse Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley personal injury lawyer and wrongful death lawyer. Enjoying time with friends or family out on a balcony should not put you in danger. If you, or a family member has suffered an injury due to a balcony collapse or you have lost a loved one, please phone (510) 631-0200 for free and friendly advice. The toll-free number is (800) 404-5400.

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