Justice for Tenants Maimed and Killed in Allegedly Preventable Building Collapse

Target: Kelly G. Cunningham, County Attorney for Scott County, IA

Goal: Charge any individuals believed guilty of negligence in Iowa building collapse.

A $300 fine and a pinky promise to “refrain from any violations”: that’s the price Andrew Wold paid for his “municipal infraction.” That’s what a court deemed a worthy penalty for this “infraction” that reportedly killed three people and left others seriously injured. And even though he pled guilty to this “infraction” for failing to maintain safe conditions in the Iowa apartment building he owned, Wolk’s lawyers are quick to stress that the “infraction…does not constitute an admission of negligence.”

The partial collapse of this six-story Davenport-based building and subsequent rescue efforts over Memorial Day weekend may have been its culmination, but it was far from the beginning of the story. The century-plus-old structure had apparently been the subject of scrutiny for months beforehand. Mere days before the collapse, an engineering firm’s report advised repairs “to keep the entire face of the building from falling away.” The owner of a masonry business claims he likewise warned Wold himself of potential trouble. A field inspection a few months prior reportedly urged prompt action as well. And a fire inspector, after assessing the property and apparently cataloguing several violations, said in a letter that “the lack of responsiveness with this property is unacceptable.”

But the most harrowing evidence of alleged inaction comes from the tenants themselves, who have multiple longstanding reports of deplorable conditions from leaky ceilings to no heat to cracks in the walls. In a prophetic message expressing some of her concerns, one tenant had written, “I don’t want to fall out the side of the building one day.” Now, several of these tenants, including one whose leg was amputated so she could be rescued from the collapsed building, are suing both the property owner and the city for their failures to vacate the property they seemingly knew to be a clear and present danger.

For their parts, the accused parties have sent out the usual “thoughts and prayers,” but justice needs to be delivered for these victims. Sign the petition below to urge prosecutors to seek criminal charges against anyone found culpable of negligence in this tragic case.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear DA Cunningham,

Justice for the Davenport, Iowa building collapse cannot end at a $300 fine and civil court proceedings. Lives were irreparably damaged, and lives were tragically lost. If the evidence is true, months—if not years—of warning signs were ignored by multiple parties in positions of power. A surer case for criminal negligence would be hard to find.

Please follow the evidence, ensure an extensive and thorough investigation is followed through, and hold all parties who contributed to this tragedy fully accountable in the eyes of the law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hinginmusic


One Comment

  1. The owners of this collapsed building need to pay the tenants for lost family, hurt people who lived in the building and for a place to stay until the building is fixed or the former tenants find another suitable place to live.

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