Newstalk
Newstalk

06.48 21 Nov 2017


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A settlement has been reached of all claims in relation to the 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse in California, in which six young people died.

A fourth floor balcony collapsed on June 16th, 2015 at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, which killed five Irish students and one Irish-American.

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

The settlement was reached against BlackRock Realty Advisors and Greystar RS California, Inc and their related affiliates.

The collapse happened during a birthday party and resulted in the six deaths, with seven others seriously injured.

Construction of the Library Gardens apartment complex began in 2005 and ended by early 2007.

The City of Berkeley issued a certificate of occupancy for the complex in January 2007.

In June 2007, after construction was complete, a BlackRock entity purchased the complex from the builder, while a Greystar entity began managing the complex in October 2008.

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

Design defects and construction flaws allowed water to penetrate the interior of the balcony. As a result, wood rot developed in its support structure.

However neither BlackRock nor Greystar discovered the wood rot during their inspections of the property.

Law firm Walkup, Melodia, Kelly and Schoenberger represented the seven injured survivors and the five bereaved families.

In a statement, the law firm says: "No one contended that the victims were in any way responsible for what happened.

"BlackRock and Greystar have adopted policies and procedures regarding the inspections of balconies on the properties that they own or manage on a regularly scheduled basis.

"The parties also have agreed to work to promote greater awareness of balcony safety issues and take appropriate actions to prevent future tragedies of this nature."

A partial settlement was agreed back in May with companies involved in the design and construction of the apartment complex.


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