Attorneys in Center City Building Collapse Trial to Speak During Webcast
In 2013, Philadelphians were shocked by the news that a Center City building had collapsed, killing seven people and injuring 12 more. In February of this year, nearly four years after the collapse, a team of attorneys representing victims achieved a $227 million settlement with several defendants involved in the collapse, including the Salvation Army.
The case was not only notable for the size of the settlement, possibly the largest in the state’s history, but also for the length of the trial, which lasted a record-breaking 17 weeks. Both the collapse and the trial were the subject of national media attention and public interest.
On October 5 at 1 p.m. ET, in a live webcast for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, attorneys representing the plaintiffs will discuss the strategies used in achieving the landmark settlement. Steven G. Wigrizer and Jason S. Weiss of Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller were both involved in the trial and look forward to participating in the live discussion.
During the webcast, attorneys will cover topics including venue selection, calling defense witnesses on cross-examination and making closing arguments. Steven G. Wigrizer said that event will be an educational experience for legal practitioners.
Wigrizer and Weiss represented two clients in the trial: 24-year-old Mary Simpson, an aspiring audio engineer, and 52-year-old Roseline Conteh, a nursing assistant from Sierra Leone.
The trial and the decision reached by the jury were not only an emotional experience for those involved, they were also a lesson to the Philadelphia business community that safety should be prioritized over growths and profits.
In a press release issued immediately after the settlement, Wigrizer told a story about an interaction with one of the jurors.
“One of the jurors came up to me and gave me a hug. She was from Bosnia,” Wigrizer said. “In Bosnia, they don’t have the right to file civil cases. She felt so thankful to be an American where ordinary people can go into a courtroom and have lawyers working for them to fight for justice. I’m also proud to be an American today.”
Wigrizer and Weiss will join attorneys from the three other law firms involved in the trial to share their stories and approaches to handling this high-profile case. Anyone interested in the event can learn more at: http://catalog.pbi.org/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=98876