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Civil Suit Filed In Center City Fire Escape Collapse

(Credit: Justin Udo)

(Credit: Justin Udo)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Just hours after Philadelphia’s City Council announced its intention to look into fire escape safety, a civil suit has been filed in court against the landlord of a building where one person fell to his death earlier this month.

Lawyers announced the civil suit had been filed on behalf of Albert Suh, 22, who was killed in the fall, and Laura O’Brien, 24, who suffered injuries including a broken back, on Monday morning.

“Obviously, this collapse should never have happened. This lawsuit it about finding out why it happened, fairly compensating the plaintiffs and preventing a repetition,” said Shanin Specter, of the Philadelphia-based law firm Kline & Specter, P.C., who is representing O’Brien and the Suh family.

Suh was killed and O’Brien and another woman were injured earlier in January when the fire escape outside their apartment at 229 S 22nd Street collapsed around midnight during a party (see previous story).

Suh was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital. O’Brien sustained injuries that included a broken back and a laceration that required 60 stitches to repair. The third victim, who is not represented in the civil case, reportedly also suffered a broken back.

According to lawyers for the two victims, the fire escape was badly corroded and in a weakened condition due to poor maintenance.

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