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Fatal building collapse leads to wrongful death filing

When people in West Virginia go to places like grocery stores, restaurants or retail stores, they do not expect that their lives will be endangered. Most of these businesses are in buildings that are safe and do not pose any immediate safety threats. However, when a property owner fails to properly care for the building, hazardous conditions in and around it can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities.

More than a year ago, a building in another state collapsed while many people were inside. The building housed a Salvation Army retail store, which was especially busy on that particular day. Next door, a team of construction workers were demolishing an old building to make way for a new development. Something went wrong with the construction work and it caused a chain reaction that lead to the collapse of the Salvation Army store.

Nineteen shoppers were in the store at the time of the collapse. The building collapse killed a total of seven people and injured another 13.

Recently, the widow of one of the deceased victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit against numerous parties including the owner and developer of the building next to the Salvation Army store. The woman's husband, who was 59-years-old, died 23 days after the fatal accident. According to the lawsuit, the man suffered a variety of injuries that ultimately lead to his death.

This tragic accident is a stark reminder of how critical it is for property owners and developers to make safety their highest priority. Under West Virginia law, building owners have an obligation to look out for the safety of the people who visit the premises. Any time a victim suffers injuries while on someone else's property, they can seek compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.

Nothing can ever bring back the loss of a loved one. However, victims and their families deserve answers and they should not have to suffer financial hardships following a fatal accident.

Source: NBC10, "Lawsuit Blames 7th Death on Market Street Building Collapse," Karen Araiza, July 23, 2014

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