Reporting Pat Loeb
By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Victims of the Center City building collapse will have to wait for their day in court.
A Philadelphia judge has agreed to freeze all civil suits arising from June’s building collapse in Center City, for at least nine months.
An attorney for the victims says he’ll ask the judge to reconsider.
Six people were killed and 13 injured when a building being demolished fell onto the Salvation Army thrift store, prompting suits against several defendants, including demolition contractor Griffin Campbell.
Campbell’s attorney requested a stay in those suits because Campbell is also under criminal investigation by a grand jury. He argued that being forced to testify at a civil trial would undermine Campbell’s fifth amendment rights and Judge Mark Bernstein agreed.
Victims’ attorney Bob Mongeluzzi says he understands the ruling but believes there is a way for the cases to proceed.
“Let’s continue on with discovery for those people who are not under criminal investigation, since there’s a lot of work to get done, and not depose those who are being investigated,” said Mongeluzzi.
Mongeluzzi says dozens of people need to be deposed and only a few of them face criminal charges.