Third Victim in Rittenhouse Fire Escape Collapse Hires Lawyers

The third person severely hurt after falling more than 40 feet to the ground when a fire escape broke off a Rittenhouse Square apartment building has hired high-profile attorneys to investigate the collapse.

Nancy Chen suffered multiple fractures and remains hospitalized after the fourth-floor fire escape she and two others were standing on collapsed on Jan. 12.

The 22-year-old public programs manager was attending a party at the John C. Bell apartment building in Rittenhouse Square and had been standing on the fire escape landing with two others -- Laura O'Brien and Albert Suh.

Both Chen and O'Brien suffered severe fractures. Suh was killed.

Chen hired attorneys Robert Mongeluzzi and Andrew Duffy to represent her as the investigation continues into what happened.

"Properly maintained and adequately inspected fire escapes simply do not collapse and kill people," Mongeluzzi said in a statement. He is representing victims in the Center City building collapse. "A fire escape, a critical life safety building feature, must be able to safely hold the weight of all foreseeable occupants. This fire escape failed miserably."

City officials said the fire escape had not been inspected by licenses & inspections officials in more than 50 years. Law only required the escape to be reviewed after installation.

An L&I inspection following the collapse found the entire fire tower to be imminently dangerous.

Chen's announcement comes a day after O'Brien and Suh's family filed a lawsuit in the case. They claim the building's owner The Khoramm Group failed to properly maintain the fire escape, which they allege was deficient.

NBC10 has been unable to reach the building's owners for comment.

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