Widow Sues Contractor for Garage Collapse

     MIAMI (CN) – A Miami Dade College parking garage collapsed, killing four, including a father of three, because the general contractor chose the “cheaper, faster construction process,” a widow claims in court.
     At least eight workers were injured in the Oct. 10 collapse, according to the complaint in Miami-Dade County. Laurel Budhoo say her husband Robert’s body was trapped under the rubble for 9 days, and it is impossible to know how long he suffered before he died.
     Laurel Budhoo sued Ajax Building Corp., Coreslab Structures (Miami), Harvard Jolly Inc., Bliss & Nyitray, SIMS Crane & Equipment Co., and Solar Erectors U.S.
     Budhoo says that Ajax, the general contractor, chose a precast concrete construction, in which large slabs of concrete are made off-site and then brought to the site to be installed, “because it was a cheaper, faster construction process.”
     After the slabs were put in place, they were temporarily attached to the structure, instead of permanently secured, Budhoo says.
     “On October 10, 2012, workers were in the process of assembling an area of the parking garage when the garage collapsed, injuring at least eight workers and resulting in the death of four people, including Robert Budhoo,” the complaint states.
     “At the time of the collapse, the foundation was uneven; the concrete slabs were defective, misaligned, and not properly secured, causing structural distress. The structure was not capable of sustaining the loads for which it was designed to support and the garage collapsed.
     “Two days prior to the collapse, on October 8, 2012, a crane hit a section of the garage, further compromising the structure. The crane was repaired and recertified to continue work. Defendants’ inspectors allowed the construction site to reopen even though the area was unsafe and unstable. Construction continued until the collapse on October 10, 2012.
     “Robert Budhoo, decedent, was an electrician for Stryker Electrical Contracting Inc., working at the Miami-Dade College parking garage when it collapsed on October 10, 2012.
     “Robert Budhoo was trapped under the rubble of the parking garage for approximately nine days. Once his body was discovered, it took several days to remove him from the rubble. It is unknown how long Robert Budhoo survived while buried alive under the concrete and rubble.”
     The $22.5 million, 5-story parking garage was at Miami Dade College’s West Campus in Doral, Florida.
     Budhoo seeks damages for negligence.
     Her lead counsel is Alan Goldfarb.

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