Victims of the Salvation Army Building Collapse Remembered

Illustration of Adam E. Grutzmacher in the Salvation Army Building Collapse Trial

On June 5, 2013, tragedy struck Center City when a brick wall collapsed on top of a Salvation Army thrift store on 22nd and Market streets. The destruction injured 12 people and took the lives of seven others. Those who survived, and the families of those who didn’t, have since banded together in their pursuit of justice. Now—five years later—they have reached a milestone in those efforts, ensuring that the memories of those who were lost will not be forgotten.

Remembering Those Lost in the Salvation Army Building Collapse

When the jury found five defendants liable for the 2013 building collapse that crushed a local thrift store and changed the lives of so many people, no one was expecting it. The trial had lasted for 17 weeks—making it the longest civil trial in Philadelphia history. The settlement agreed to after that verdict was $227 million—a Pennsylvania personal injury settlement record. However, the work of these victims and their families was not done.

Instead of rebuilding its thrift store, the Salvation Army donated the property to the city. The plan for that property was to build a memorial to those who lost so much in this tragedy. It took five years, but that vision has finally become a reality. On Tuesday, June 5th, the anniversary of the tragedy that took seven lives, a memorial park built in their honor will be opened to the public.

This park was made possible by donations from the public and local businesses. Although this park will not bring back those who were lost in this tragedy, it will carry on their memory and serve as a reminder to prevent future tragedies like this from happening again.

The Grutzmacher Law Firm is proud to have played a part in seeking justice for the families of those who were lost. Keep following our blog to learn more about how we can help families in need.

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