Plaintiff’s Investigation Reveals Possible New Cause For Parking Garage Collapse

Errors were made by the construction and inspection companies leading to the garage collapse at West Campus last October, Ervin Gonzalez argued in court on March 28.

“Column B3 did not have the cement at the base causing the collapse,” said Gonzalez, the lawyer for the family of the late Samuel Perez through e-mail.

The plaintiff’s forensic engineers had discovered that not enough cement was holding the column together. Pictures backing his claim were shown at the March  28 court appearance.

“It proves what went wrong,” Gonzalez said. “And the mistakes are the type that would result in virtual certainty that people would be killed or seriously hurt and grossly negligent conduct on the parts of the defendants.”

Ajax, the company in charge of building the parking garage and the one being sued, had no comments on the matter during the hearing.

The first reports of the cause of the collapse said that a crane had struck the column, hence making the structure unstable, and causing it to pancake down.

Gonzalez said that the crane incident may have shifted the already unsupported column, but that the lack of cement is the reason the column failed.

Ever since four construction workers were killed when part of the five-story garage that was being built on MDCs campus in Doral collapsed Oct. 10, both Ajax, the company in charge of building the garage, and the family of the victims have been in a legal battle to understand just what caused the parking garage to collapse.

“This tragedy should have never happened,” Gonzalez said. “Failing to cement is unforgivable, and the fact that the inspectors did not catch it and the supervisors did not find the problem is mind boggling. We are suing to seek justice  and ensure that this never happens again.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the widow of Samuel Perez, who died after being trapped for 17 hours in the rubble of the MDC garage collapse, against Ajax, the company in charge of the construction of the garage.

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