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Family sues over Philadelphia demolition death


September 03. 2013 1:36PM
Associated Press

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(AP) The first wrongful-death lawsuit over a Philadelphia building collapse has been filed by the family of an art school graduate killed inside a thrift store.


The June collapse obliterated the Salvation Army store and killed 24-year-old Mary Lea Simpson, of Haverford, and five others.


The family's lawsuit Tuesday faults the Salvation Army, adjacent building owner Richard Basciano and demolition contractors. Simpson was shopping when an unsupported brick wall from the adjacent building collapsed onto the store.


Salvation Army lawyer Eric Weiss says Basciano and his contractors never disclosed plans to use heavy equipment during demolition.


Simpson family lawyer Steven Wigrizer (WIG'-rize-ur) says Basciano has a pattern of negligent behavior dating back to a 1997 garage accident that killed a city judge walking on a sidewalk.


Basciano's lawyer, Thomas Sprague, declined to comment.


Associated Press


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