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Previous victims of collapse were awarded $12m

AS the injured and grieving from the Berkeley balcony collapse deal with the aftermath of the tragedy a number of American law firms have begun considering possible compensation claims.

While for those involved in the tragedy the focus remains intently on the survivors and bringing the victims home for burial, some American legal companies have flagged the incident on their websites.

One such firm, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, claims that it is currently investigating the balcony collapse. The company, which is based on the San Francisco Peninsula, states that it engages "exclusively in litigation and trials".

The firm has also represented several other balcony collapse cases, including a number of similiar cases in the San Francisco area.


On February 17, 1996, at Franklin Street in the city a balcony collapsed due to construction defects. One person died and another suffered severe brain injury in the tragedy.

The jury awarded $12,389,050 to the victims of the fall against the property manager and landlord who negligently maintained the residential deck that collapsed.

"The $12 million verdict brought attention to the high rate of balcony collapses in the Bay Area," their website states.

The law firm went on to give details of three other cases where it claims "significant damages" for victims of balcony collapses.

The building where the Berkeley accident occurred, Library Gardens Apartment, is owned by Blackrock Financial in New York and managed by the Houston-based Greystar.

Greystar manages more than 400,000 apartments around the country, including five buildings in Berkeley.