Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C.
Philadelphia, PA (June 11, 2013) – Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky presently represents six surviving victims of the Philadelphia Building Collapse. The demolition contractor, Griffin Campbell Construction, issued a statement, through their attorney Kenneth Edelin yesterday, and has announced their intention to hold a press conference this afternoon. Mr. Edelin’s statement on behalf of Griffin Campbell Construction raises more questions than it answers. The statement indicates that Griffin Campbell’s bid was $112,000. However, the permit filed by Griffin Campbell Construction indicated that the estimated cost was $10,000. They paid a fee of $1,460 on an estimated $10,000 project cost. This obviously raises the issue of why Griffin Campbell Construction reported the estimated cost at $10,000 when it knew it was $112,000. Was this to save on the fee it would have to pay on the $102,000 cost it didn’t report?
OSHA 1926.850 REQUIRES that an engineering survey plan be prepared before beginning demolition operations. Mr. Edelin’s statement does not indicate that any such engineering survey was done. Our sources have told us that there was no such survey. Did Griffin Campbell Construction violate Federal Law by beginning this demolition without an engineering survey? Were any engineering surveys prepared on the “several” other demolition projects he has claimed to perform?
Griffin Campbell Construction is listed as the licensed contractor for the owner STB Investments Corporation. Did Mr. Campbell negotiate directly with Richard Basciano? If not, who at STB investment Corporation did he speak with? Was there a written contract? What was the price?
Mr. Edelin claims that “inspectors from OSHA, the City, and on behalf of The Salvation Army visited the site after demolition had started and gave the site a clean bill of health and that photos established the timeline of the work and will establish work had already begun on the collapsed building at the time the inspectors from the City, OSHA and on behalf of the Salvation Army visited the site.” This is the first reference that the Salvation Army had been notified of the excavation and their inspectors were there. Why? Who did they speak with? When were OSHA and the City’s Department of Licensing and Inspection there? Who did they speak to and what did they say?
Griffin Campbell Construction claims that they chose Sean Benshcop to work on this job. Was there a sub-contract? How much was he paid? Mr. Campbell claims that “the excavator was on site to remove debris, NOT demolition on that section of the building. ” If the excavator was on site to only remove debris why is there a video posted on You Tube showing the excavator demolishing the front façade of the building the Sunday before the accident? (See 4 photo sequence) Why, in the photographs taken the day before the accident, are there no scaffolds which would support a claim that the excavation was being done by hand? (See attached photo. Notably, this photo also shows a worker with a cast on his right arm. Sean Benschop has been reported to have been wearing a cast on the day of the accident). How could they possibly demolish a 40 foot high wall with no scaffolding?
Why was the iron beam brought to the site the day before the accident? What was its purpose?
Why was the wall (shown clearly unbraced in the photos taken the day before the accident) not braced in blatant violation of OSHA 1926.854?
Representatives of Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky will be available for comment after Griffin Campbell Construction Company’s press conference.