Phila. City Treasurer said to be filing suit over daughter's death in June building collapse

By Jon Campisi | Sep 18, 2013

Philadelphia City Treasurer Nancy Winkler and her husband, John Bryan,

have announced they are suing over the death of their daughter, Anne Bryan, who perished as a result of June’s deadly building collapse in Center City.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday night that the couple had filed a wrongful death complaint earlier in the day against Richard Basciano, the owner of the collapsed building, as well as the Salvation Army and a host of other defendants.

The June 5 collapse occurred when an unsupported wall from the building being demolished toppled over the adjacent Salvation Army thrift store on Market Street in downtown Philadelphia.

Other suits have since been filed at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court in the wake of the tragedy, which took the lives of six people and injured scores of others.

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge has since issued a stay of all civil litigation given the paralleling criminal investigation that is currently underway.

Earlier Tuesday, Winkler and her husband joined their attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi, of the high-profile plaintiff’s firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett and Bendesky, to announce the filing of their suit, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the law firm.

Mongeluzzi is the lawyer who is representing a host of other plaintiffs in civil cases arising out of the building collapse, which made national news.

The newspaper quoted Winkler as telling reporters during the press conference that she and her husband would like to see an independent blue-ribbon panel of national safety experts take a look at what occurred in early June to evaluate what system should be in place to make Philadelphia residents feel they are safe when walking city streets and entering city buildings.

“This is a horror, something that doesn’t even happen in the developed world,” Winkler was quoted as saying.

Anne Bryan, an art student in her early 20s, was crushed to death when the unsupported wall from the demolition site crushed down onto the Salvation Army’s building.

The newspaper quoted John Bryan, who works as a structural engineer, as saying that the lawsuit is being brought to “find out what happened and who’s responsible and make sure it never happens again.”

The Pennsylvania Record will offer more detailed information, including the specifics of the complaint, as it becomes available.

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