The general contractor found guilty for his role in a fatal 2013 building collapse in Philadelphia will face a deposition for an upcoming civil trial, set for September of 2016. The civil trial consolidates 20 lawsuits where plaintiffs are suing 18 entities and people, including recently convicted general contractor Griffin Campbell. Philadelphia Judge Mark I. Bernstein made the decision on Monday to allow Griffin to be deposed, saying the general contractor’s Fifth Amendment right will not be affected by a deposition.
On June 5, 2013, a building collapse at the intersection of 22nd Street and Market Street in Center City left six people dead and 13 people. Authorities said a freestanding three-story wall of the building collapsed, flattening an adjacent Salvation Army store.
According to NewsWorks, a jury found Campbell guilty in October of aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, and other offenses. Testimony in the criminal case revealed that Campbell had ignored warnings from several people about the freestanding wall, which was set for demolition before it crashed down onto the Salvation Army store.
Sean Benschop, the only other person arrested after the Philadelphia building collapse, may also face a deposition. Benschop was the excavator operator at the site who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a criminal trial to avoid a possible third-degree murder charge. Campbell and Benschop will face criminal sentencing on January 8, 2016.
Victims and their loved ones hope the civil trial will bring them closure in the wake of such a tragedy. Plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.