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Construction Litigation Underway After Hotel Collapse

Burgoyne Law Offices Oct. 30, 2019

If you drive south of Olive Branch all the way through Mississippi, you will arrive at one of the world’s great intersections of music, food, commerce and culture. New Orleans was shaken recently by the mid-October collapse of the top floors of the 18-story Hard Rock Hotel that was under construction.

Three people were killed and many others injured in the collapse. At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed, claiming negligence in construction, design and planning of the project.

A recent article in a construction industry publication cited legal claims filed against the general contractor and others involved in the project, including the following:

  • Flawed design: the collapse was triggered by poor design in which the structure could not bear its own weight

  • Insufficient support: the type and number of structural supports for upper-floor concrete slabs were inadequate

  • Tests: submitted pile load test results were for a different project in a different location
    Concrete issues: concrete was not cured for the needed amount of time
    Cost-cutting: contractors used unskilled labor to save money

According to Construction Dive, several businesses near the Hard Rock Hotel construction site have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for revenue lost while the site is blocked to vehicles and pedestrians.

Among the defendants in the litigation already underway are the general contractor, developer, architects, an engineering firm and an electrical subcontractor.

Plans to demolish a damaged crane and the rest of the uncompleted hotel are at this writing underway.

An attorney experienced in construction litigation told the publication that experts will eventually determine why the structure collapsed and then “the parties at fault will be identified, and liability will be apportioned.”