Did Stalemate Between STB and Salvation Army Exacerbate the Building Collapse?
The first wrongful death suit in the case of the building collapse at 22nd and Market makes some strong allegations against the Salvation Army, claiming the Christian organization knew the thrift store was unsafe but chose to keep it open for business anyway.
In June the Inquirer reported on a string of communication between building owner STB and the Salvation Army that showed the two groups at legal loggerheads to such a degree that nothing could be accomplished. At the time, STB warned the city that if the Salvation Army continued to delay, something bad could happen. The Salvation Army, however, maintains they were trying to obtain a promise from STB regarding safe demolition practices before things moved forward.
Naturally, the two lawyers have two very different perceptions of what went on. Victor Fiorillo spoke with Eric Weiss, the Salvation Army’s lawyer, who claimed the organization was not warned of the danger. But Steven Wigrizer, who’s representing the plaintiff, says, “That’s just wrong. If you take a look at the emails that were released by the City Solicitor, there was very explicit and frank discussion about the risk of injury or worse.”