Three lives were tragically lost in Davenport, Iowa, when a six-story apartment building collapsed, sending shockwaves through the community. As the recovery efforts continue, lawsuits have been filed against the building’s owner, Andrew Wold, and the city, alleging negligence and a failure to warn residents about the deteriorating conditions that led to the catastrophic incident. This article delves into the details surrounding the collapse, the legal actions taken, and the ongoing investigation into the cause of the structural failure.
Lowa Building Collapse
The collapse of the century-old apartment building in Davenport claimed the lives of three men, whose bodies have now been recovered from the site. The search for additional victims has concluded, according to Chief Jeff Bladel of the Davenport Police Department. Branden Colvin Sr., Ryan Hitchcock, and Daniel Prien were identified as the victims, with authorities stating that they were likely present in the building when it collapsed.
Legal Action and Allegations of Negligence
Residents of the building have begun filing lawsuits seeking accountability for the tragedy. Dayna Feuerbach filed a lawsuit accusing the city, as well as the current and former owners, of being aware of the building’s deteriorating conditions and failing to warn residents of the imminent danger. Another lawsuit, filed by Mildred Harrington, solely targets the building’s owner, Andrew Wold, with similar allegations. The lawsuits allege multiple counts of negligence and seek unspecified damages.
City documents released last week, which are now being cited in the lawsuits, indicate that concerns about the structural integrity of the building were communicated to both the city and Andrew Wold over several months. A 911 call made just a day before the collapse reveals that a contractor had expressed concerns about a wall’s stability, prompting a brief visit by city fire officials to the site. The lawsuits argue that these warnings were not adequately addressed, and the building’s owner and the city failed in their responsibility to prioritize the safety of residents.
Investigation and City Response
According to abc news, The Davenport fire marshal’s office, assisted by the state Division of Criminal Investigation, Davenport police, and the medical examiner’s office, has initiated an investigation into the cause of the building collapse. The city officials are also consulting with experts to determine the safest method for bringing down the remaining structure. Mayor Mike Matson has stated that he and other city officials have had no contact with Andrew Wold since the incident.
Response and Support
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds visited the site and expressed gratitude to the first responders for their bravery and commitment to the community. The state government is providing support and resources to assist the city in its recovery efforts. In response to the displacement of tenants, the state made $5,000 available to those who meet income requirements, while the city offered $6,000 to assist those forced from their homes. Additionally, the governor waived fees for tenants needing to replace their driver’s licenses.
Previous Complaints and Neglected Issues
The tragedy has brought attention to past complaints made by tenants about various issues that were allegedly ignored by property managers. These complaints include prolonged periods without heat or hot water, as well as problems with mold and water leakage. While the city did respond to some of these individual complaints and issued vacate orders for specific apartments, a broader evacuation was never ordered, as revealed by records. Tenants also reported cracks on the collapsed wall to building management, which went unaddressed.