Wednesday 28 September 2016

Victims of Berkeley deserve natural justice

Published 02/04/2016 | 02:30

The scene of the Berkeley balcony tragedy which claimed the lives of six young Irish students: Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Lorcan Miller, Eoghan Culligan, Nick Schuster, and Eimear Walsh. Photo: REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
The scene of the Berkeley balcony tragedy which claimed the lives of six young Irish students: Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Lorcan Miller, Eoghan Culligan, Nick Schuster, and Eimear Walsh. Photo: REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

The suffering visited on those caught up in the Berkeley tragedy, which took the lives of six victims and left seven others with serious injuries, can scarcely be comprehended.

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Already they have displayed super-human courage and strength by getting on with their lives, and coping as best as they can with incalculable. Today's news that one of the main parties from whom damages was to be sought in a civil case is to vigorously fight the claim is yet another blow.

The corporate giant, BlackRock Inc, claims the civil cases are 'without merit'. Earlier in the week, it was revealed that the district attorney of Alameda County in California would not be pursuing criminal charges. The cases themselves detail the horrific injuries suffered by the survivors and the "shock and terror" they experienced.

We do not know all the details, but we know enough to realise that parts of buildings should not collapse without cause. Clearly these families have been through enough and require assistance to meet the enormous medical costs involved.

There is no true compensation for tragedy, but surely natural justice demands more than denial and lengthy litigation.

Irish Independent

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