First Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In June's Building Collapse

First Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In June's Building Collapse

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PHILADELPHIA -

The family of a young woman, killed in June's Center City building collapse, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.

24-year-old Mary Simpson was one of six people who died on June 5th, when the walls of a neighboring building tumbled down onto a small thrift store.

The lawsuit faults the Salvation Army for keeping the store open, despite the demolition going on next door.

It also names the building's owners and demolition crews for allegedly tearing down that building unsafely.

"Even a child playing with building blocks would understand if you want to take down the blocks safely you need to go top down and that was not done here," says Steve Wigrizer, the attorney. "The Salvation Army understood the risk. Employees joked that the walls seemed like they would come down, but they stayed open, which was a bad decision on their part."

The Simpson family's lawsuit is the first wrongful death suit filed in connection with the building collapse. A criminal grand jury investigation is also underway. So far, one person is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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