PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The elderly owner of the buildings being demolished next to the deadly 2013 Salvation Army Thrift store collapse returned to the witness stand Monday afternoon. But his brief testimony was uneventful, unlike last week’s emotional outburst.
Real estate developer Richard Basciano spent less than an hour responding to questions from lawyers representing others being sued, including the demolition contractor, the architect and the Salvation Army.READ MORE: Delaware Man Charged With Using Hidden Pen Cameras To Spy On Victims At King Of Prussia Mall
Last week, the 91-year old Basciano had an emotional meltdown on the stand, and the judge quickly excused him. He’s expected to be recalled when the defense begins its case. The trial, now in its sixth week, is expected to take a break later this week, and pick up again in mid November.READ MORE: Justo Smoker Pleads Guilty To Kidnapping, Killing Amish Teen Linda Stoltzfoos
Meantime, while jurors viewed the videotaped deposition of the excavator operator, who pleaded guilty before the criminal trial began, a gaggle of lawyers and Judge Teresa Sarmina walked over to a different courtroom for arguments on whether plaintiffs could call another expert witness on the retail industry.
Laywers for the Salvation Army say Alex Balian’s testimony would duplicate that of another retail management consultant, Robert Bartlett, who testified that the Salvation Army should be held financially liable for damages, because it ignored warnings from the company that owned the demolished building.MORE NEWS: Report: Philadelphia 76ers Could Trade First Round Pick, Still Won't Sell Short On Deal For Ben Simmons
Judge Sarmina ruled the 2nd retail expert could testify, and lawyers could object, or she “could cut him off, if his testimony was cumulative.”