MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Nearly two months after a garage collapsed at Miami-Dade College’s West campus, killing four people; a second family has filed a lawsuit against the construction company hired to do the job.
Since the garage collapse, the family has been relying on relatives and friends to stay afloat financially, but said the lawsuit is about more than money.
They said they want justice for 53-year-old Samuel Perez and the three others who died in the collapse.
Perez was trapped 17 hours before rescue teams found him and amputated both his legs. He later died at the hospital.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges the defendants were negligent with their safety standards.
“One of the initial columns wasn’t properly grouted in place,” said Attorney Ervin Gonzalez with Colson Hicks Eidson.
Gonzalez said after a crane hit one of the garage columns before the collapse, the site was shut down for 48 hours. But, he believes not enough was done to make sure the site was safe once it reopened.
“When the initial crane caused the first column to move, they repaired the column but didn’t inspect other columns that had been shifted due to the blow.”
“I’m very angry, very angry about the whole thing,” said Perez’s Stepson Jimmy Ramirez. “I’m also hurt. Just the way he died he had to suffere for so long and I don’t know why. It shouldn’t have been like that. It’s not fair.”
In response, Ajax Building Corporation Spokesperson says “While not appropriate to comment on ongoing litigation, Ajax is committed to a full investigation of the tragedy and continues to work closely with investigators to find the cause of the accident. To the fullest extent possible, we are assisting OSHA in their investigation. Particularly as we enter the holiday season, our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and loved ones of those affected by this tragedy.”
OSHA is still investigating whether or not their safety standards were violated in the garage collapse. They have a total of six months to release their findings.