US court hears Berkeley collapse would not have happened if corners hadn't been cut to save on building costs

The families of the students who died in the tragedy are suing 35 defendants

berkeley, collapse, tragedy, balcony

In this June 16, 2015 file photo, workers remove part of a balcony that collapsed at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, Calif. Image: Jeff Chiu / AP/Press Association Images

A Californian court has heard the Berkeley balcony collapse - which claimed the lives of six Irish students - would not have happened if contractors had not cut corners to save on building costs.

The court, which has been hearing a multi-million dollar lawsuit, was told that contractors decided not to replace saturated wood in the balcony because the replacement would have been "costly, difficult, embarrassing and inconvenient".

The Irish Independent also reports that it is claimed the management company decided not to have repairs done as it did not want to lose out on rental income.

The claims are contained in a legal submission made on behalf of Niall Murray, a student who described the "unimaginable terror" he experienced as he plunged 40 feet onto a concrete footpath in June.

The families of the six students who died - Ashley Donohue, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster and Lorcan Miller - are suing a total 35 defendants involved in the management and construction of the building where the collapse occurred for wrongful death.

Seven other suits for personal injuries have been lodged by survivors of the collapse.

The fourth-storey balcony collapsed during a 21st birthday party on June 16th of this year.

A number of fundraising events have taken place here in Ireland to help support the survivors and their families.