Insufficient shoring and floor-to-wall reinforcement were among causes of a parking garage collapse that led to potentially the largest construction accident
Insufficient shoring and floor-to-wall reinforcement were among causes of a parking garage collapse that led to potentially the largest construction accident case settlement in U.S. history. A New Jersey Superior Court judge and attorneys representing the families of the four construction workers killed and more than 30 others injured in the October 2003 Tropicana Atlantic City (N.J.) Casino and Resort parking garage collapse announced a $101 million settlement package in April. The accident occurred during placement of the structure’s eighth level, which collapsed along with the four levels immediately below it. The structure used the Filigree method, which combines precast slabs, acting as permanent formwork, topped with a cast-in-place layer.
Parties to the settlement, which was reached prior to the case’s scheduled June 6 trial date, include Tropicana Atlantic City; general contractor Keating Building Corp.; concrete subcontractors Midstate Filigree Systems and Fabi Construction; structural engineer DeSimone Consulting Engineers; and, Site-Blauvelt Engineers, concrete and reinforcing steel inspector.
Trial preparation saw plaintiffs’ attorneys, led by Philadelphia-based Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C. (SMBB), conduct nearly 250 depositions, including those from leading structural engineering experts, and examine more than 1.5 million pages of documents. SMBB Partner Robert Mongeluzzi, who served as lead counsel for the litigation with Linwood, N.J., attorney Paul D’Amato, said the settlement was fair. Added partner and trial team member Larry Bendesky, The simple explanation of the cause of the collapse is that the floors were not connected to the walls with the required reinforcing steel.