Apartment Building Struck By Falling Crane Is Uninhabitable, Plaintiffs Ask Court To Block Crane's Removal
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A Greystar Properties apartment complex struck by a falling construction crane in Dallas during severe weather Sunday has been deemed uninhabitable.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit process has already begun and the plaintiffs' attorneys want a district court to keep the crane in place until lawyers can fully inspect the device and the surrounding premises.
It is the first shot in what is likely to turn into an all-out legal war against the many commercial real estate players involved with the Elan City Lights apartment development and The Gabriella apartment tower under construction next door.
It has been two days since a severe storm packing 70-plus mile per hour winds hit Downtown Dallas, toppling over a construction crane in Deep Ellum, killing one 29-year-old resident and injuring five others inside the Elan City Lights apartment development operated by Greystar.
The Dallas Fire Department confirmed Tuesday Greystar declared the building "totally unusable for residential purposes," according to a statement from Dallas Fire-Rescue Department Public Information Officer Jason Evans.
The crane, operated by Bigge Crane and Rigging out of California, remains attached to the building. Greystar, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the crane operator were working Monday on plans to detach the damaged crane from the building, according to Dallas Fire.
Plaintiffs' attorneys Jason and Larry Friedman with the Friedman & Feiger law firm filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Bigge Crane, Elan Dallas City Lights Owner L.P., Elan Dallas City Lights GP LLC, GREP General Partner, Gabriella Tower LLC and Gabriella Nationwide for negligence, gross negligence and negligence per se.
Their client is a tenant who injured her foot while running for safety after the crane fell onto the premises.
The law firm, citing fear of disruption of critical evidence, asked the court to forbid the removal of the tower crane until the plantiffs' attorneys have time to inspect the premises.
"They want to move it, but you are moving out the scene," Friedman said. "Obviously things are going to change; something is going to go missing, somebody is going to move something and switch something. It's inevitable."
With hundreds of residents impacted and one woman losing her life, Jason Friedman said his firm's request for an injunction is designed to prevent the spoiling of evidence for all current and future parties.
"I am hoping to preserve it for everybody. I know the decedent [person who died in the accident] has a counsel out of Houston, Texas, and there may be other lawyers and people coming in."