Relatives of a mother of eight who was killed in a deadly building demolition while shopping for clothes in a Philadelphia thrift store are bringing the second wrongful death suit in the collapse that claimed six lives.
Roseline Conteh, 52, an immigrant from Sierra Leone who worked as a nursing assistant, was among the victims when a four-story building tumbled onto the Salvation Army store in June.
The suit posted on Philly.com alleges “negligence, carelessness, recklessness” and “conscience-shocking behavior” on the part of the defendants. It says there were ample warning of structural problems and other issues that could hinder the demolition and that should have prevented the collapse that killed Conteh, who was shopping for clothes for friends and family.
Salvation Army attorney Eric Weiss said in an email that the lawsuit contains "half-truths and misrepresentations,'' which wrongly suggest that the charity had warning that the building under demolition was unstable or in any way dangerous to the thrift store next door.
"The Salvation Army regrets that attorneys continue to recite but small parts of the complete story, filing complaints naming The Salvation Army and thereby taking The Salvation Army's resources away from all the countless residents of the Greater Philadelphia Area who depend upon the charity of The Salvation Army and those who so generously donate to that mission,'' he said.
Messages left for those named in the suit - including the building owner, the demolition firm and the excavator operator - weren't immediately returned.
Last week, a wrongful death suit was filed by the family of an arts school graduate killed along with her childhood friend as they were dropping off clothes and shopping at the thrift store.
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