Three bodies found in building collapse in Iowa.Lawsuit accusing city and owner of negligence

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The bodies of three men were removed from a collapse site in Davenport, Iowa, about a week after part of a 100-year-old building collapsed to the ground in Davenport, Iowa. The police chief made the announcement on Monday.

“At this time, we have no information that more people are missing,” Chief Jeff Bradell said.

The first of many lawsuits filed by residents and their families comes as authorities announce the recovery of the bodies. Tenant Dana Feuerbach has accused the city of Davenport and the current and former owners of the building of knowing the situation was deteriorating and failing to warn residents of the dangers.

The suit alleges multiple negligence, seeks unspecified damages, and points to the possibility of additional lawsuits.

“The city was issuing warning after warning,” attorney Jeffrey Goodman said in an interview with The Associated Press. He said it’s a common trend in large-scale structural collapses he’s seen. “They had a responsibility to put public safety first. Clearly the City of Davenport didn’t do that.”

The police chief said the body of Branden Colvin Sr. was recovered on Saturday. Ryan Hitchcock’s body was recovered on Sunday and Daniel Prien’s body was recovered early Monday morning. City officials previously said Colvin, 42, said: Hitchcock, 51 years old. and Prien, 60. “It is likely that he was at his home at the time of the collapse.”

The discovery came after authorities announced that the search for survivors was complete and attention was turned to strengthening the remaining buildings so that restoration work could begin. For 24 to 36 hours after the apartment collapsed on May 28, the wreckage of the apartment was in constant motion, putting rescue workers in great danger.

Mayor Mike Matson said last week that complaints about the rescue and recovery process should be directed to the mayor, not first responders.

Mr. Matson said Monday that neither he nor other city officials have been in contact with the building owner, Andrew Wald.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Tennant,” Waldo released a statement on May 30. He has not issued a statement since, and attempts to contact him, his company, and the man who is believed to be his lawyer have been unsuccessful.

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Davenport Hotels LLC acquired the building in 2021 with a contract valued at $4.2 million, according to county records.

Bradell said the Davenport Fire and Security Service has launched an investigation into the building collapse with the help of the State Criminal Investigation Service, the Davenport Police Department and the Coroner’s Office.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said he will visit the site with officials in Davenport on Monday.

Scott County Prosecutor Kelly Cunningham said on Friday that an independent inquiry must be conducted into the cause of the building’s structural deficiencies and that it is now within the city’s jurisdiction, presuming criminal prosecution is appropriate. warned against doing

Davenport officials said they are consulting with experts on how to safely level the rest of the structure. City fire marshals earlier said they wouldn’t use explosives because of their proximity to other buildings in downtown Davenport’s busy street.

Unresolved questions include why neither the owners nor city officials warned residents of the potential danger. A structural engineer’s report released days before the collapse showed the walls of the 100-year-old building were in imminent danger of collapse.

City officials and the building’s owner had been warned for months that parts of the building were unstable, according to documents released by the city.

Tenants have also filed complaints with the city in recent years about a number of issues that property managers allegedly ignored. These included no heating or hot water for weeks or even months at a time, as well as mold and water leaks from ceilings and toilets. City officials attempted to address some complaints and issued eviction orders to individual apartments, but no broad evacuation orders were issued, according to records.

Current and former residents told The Associated Press that the walls cracked and eventually collapsed and were reported to building management. A woman whose apartment fell into a huge pile of rubble had to amputate her leg to save her. Three bodies found in building collapse in Iowa.Lawsuit accusing city and owner of negligence

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