Building Demolition on Miami Beach Leads to Wrongful-Death Lawsuit
Senior Partner Steven H. Osber In The News Representing Miami Beach Wrongful-Death Lawsuit
MIAMI (April 2, 2019) – Samuel “Ty” Landis went to work on July 23, 2018 to help with a demolition project. He was accustomed to seeing buildings come down. What he didn’t know was that this one would kill him.
Landis arrived at 5775 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach shortly before rush hour, where AlliedBean Demolition Inc. was set to tear down the former Marlborough House. The city has laws about how buildings are demolished. According to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Miami-Dade County circuit court by Landis’ mother, Judith Landis, the company and others knowingly violated those regulations even after being repeatedly denied permission to implode the structure.
“This was the worst possible scenario,” said Steven H. Osber, a senior partner at Conrad & Scherer, who is representing Ms. Landis. “By violating the law and well established safety procedures, the defendants endangered the lives of the very people they hired to work on the project as well as spectators and passersby who watched the building come down. As a result of their recklessness, and conscious disregard for the safety of the public, Mr. Landis was killed.”
As alleged in the complaint, Winmar Construction, the general contractor, hired AlliedBean, a subcontractor, to oversee the demolition, AlliedBean hired AA Demolition Management LLC to collapse the building by pulling out the support structures on the first floor, to perform an illegal implosion. AlliedBean also hired Landis, a family man, to help with the demolition.
Something went wrong that Monday. The 12-story building collapsed and the front portion of the building fell onto Collins Avenue, where a crowd had gathered. AlliedBean actively invited the public to attend the demolition, according to the lawsuit. The general public and demolition crew members were in danger because neither the general contractor nor the subcontractors kept people or traffic at a safe distance, and failed to file a required Maintenance of Traffic plan that protects the public from tragedies like this.
Noise and dust filled the air as the building toppled out of control. Cars whizzed by as debris fell toward those assembled. A large dust cloud covered the area following the collapse and sirens were heard immediately following the implosion with emergency crews rushing to the scene.
Once the dust cleared, Landis, who was standing in the far street lanes from the building, was found lying motionless on the street median because he was struck by a large piece of concrete debris from the collapsing building that flew across the street and struck him full-on, causing life-threatening injuries. Rescue workers revived him and Landis was rushed to the hospital. Twelve days later, he died of those injuries.
Now, Landis’ mother is seeking justice for a son she lost. As personal representative of his estate, she has sued AlliedBean, AA Demolition, Winmar and others for wrongful death.
“Under Florida law, when someone is hurt or killed on the job, claims are handled through the workers compensation system, unless the employer engages in conduct so egregious it falls into one of the exceptions to workers comp immunity,” said Osber. “In this case, the conduct of the defendants is sufficiently egregious to satisfy the criteria to establish those exceptions.”
The lawsuit seeks to recover from the three companies and others, including AlliedBean president Kevin Bean, the costs of Landis’ medical care, funeral and burial expenses; income lost from Landis’ death; mental anguish; and other damages.
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