A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the contractors hired to complete the parking garage at Miami Dade College that collapsed in October.
The widow of one of the four men killed at the construction site accident filed a lawsuit against five contractors, alleging that the companies were negligent, rushed the project and did not comply with minimum safety requirements.
Migdalia Lopez's husband Samuel Perez died after being trapped under the rubble for 17 hours and having his legs amputated to get him out. He died hours later at the hospital. He was inside a cement truck when the collapse occurred.
The five companies being sued are Ajax Building Corporation Inc., M.A.R Contracting, MEP Structural Engineering and Inspections, Bliss and Nyitray, Inc., and Haryard Jolly, Inc.
The construction site accident also took the lives of Carlos Hurtado de Mendoza, Jose Calderon and Robert Budhoo.
The cause behind the collapse of a parking garage at the MDC campus won't be known for months, but experts believe the problem stems from the use of pre-fabricated parts assembled on site.
Like most parking garages built across the United States, the structure at Miami Dade College was constructed using prefabricated concrete pieces. These pieces must then be hoisted into place, and may remain unstable until the pieces are secured by welding or bolting them. Experts say the process requires close supervision, and one false move can cause a collapse. There were also reports that two days before the collapse a crane crashed into one of the structure's columns, which may have caused to parking garage to become unstable.
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Source: The Miami Herald, "Family of worker killed in MDC garage collapse has filed lawsuit against contractors," Dec. 3, 2012.