Salvation Army clerk sues owner, contractor

Posted: June 08, 2013

A Salvation Army store clerk filed suit Thursday against the owner and contractor in charge of demolition of the Center City building that collapsed on her store the day before.

Nadine White, 54, of South Philadelphia, filed an emergency motion in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court asking for preservation of evidence and the right to start inspecting the wreckage on Saturday.

The suit names as defendants Richard Basciano, the owner of the four-story building at 2136-38 Market Street; his company, STB Investments Corp.; Griffin T. Campbell; and his firm, Griffin Campbell Construction.

A spokesman for STB Investments said he was not aware of the suit. The others could not be reached Thursday evening.

White was trapped beneath the rubble for more than 10 minutes before a Philadelphia firefighter rescued her, her attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi said Thursday evening at a news conference.

A mother of three, White was treated Wednesday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and has since been released, Mongeluzzi said.

He questioned whether Griffin Campbell met a requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to complete an engineering survey before it began demolition.

"We do not know what the demolition contractor prepared, but I can assure you of this: They either did not prepare an engineering survey, or if one was prepared, they didn't file it," said Mongeluzzi, of the Philadelphia firm Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, which represents victims of construction collapses.

"An adequately prepared engineering survey would not allow a building that's being demolished to collapse on an adjacent structure," he said.

The attorneys are expecting a court hearing Friday.

Contact Andrew Seidman at 856-779-3846, or @AndrewSeidman on Twitter.

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