Monday 18 December 2017

Young witnesses to tragic Berkeley balcony collapse to sue over 'emotional injuries'

A worker measures near the remaining wood from an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley
A worker measures near the remaining wood from an apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley
The collapsed balcony from which the 13 students fell
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Some of the young witnesses to the Berkeley balcony collapse intend to sue over emotional injuries suffered following the tragedy.

Five Irish students and one young American died when the timber-supported balcony of the fourth floor apartment on Kittredge Street collapsed in the early morning of June 16.

Those killed were Dublin students Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai 'Nick' Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke and US student Ashley Donohoe.

Seven other youngsters, all Irish students on J1 work visas, were injured.

A woman holds a candle during a candlelight vigil at the Martin Luther King Jr Civic Centre Park in Berkeley
A woman holds a candle during a candlelight vigil at the Martin Luther King Jr Civic Centre Park in Berkeley
Mourners stand by during a candlelight vigil for six Irish students Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

California law firms Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, as well as Rains, Lucia & Stern, are involved in the cases.

The first hearings in the legal actions brought by the families and survivors of the Berkeley tragedy are scheduled to begin in a California court next Monday.

It has now come to light that some of the young people who witnessed the horrific event - but did not suffer any physical injuries themselves - will also be taking legal action over their emotional distress.

According to legal documents filed recently to the Superior Court of California, and lawyers at the Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, & Schoenberger firm, these young people who were at the apartment party on June 16 will be filing lawsuits.

The six victims of the tragic Berkeley balcony collapse
The six victims of the tragic Berkeley balcony collapse
A small memorial is seen near a 4th-story apartment building balcony collapse in Berkeley, California.

The first court appearance is scheduled to take place before Alameda County Superior Court Judge George Hernandez, in the courthouse in Oakland, California on Monday.

A City of Berkeley investigation confirmed that the eight timber balcony support beams failed at the Kittredge Street complex due to dry rot.

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