National News

Sep 3, 2013 12:46 PM by katc

Family sues over Philadelphia demolition death

The first wrongful-death lawsuit over a Philadelphia building collapse has been filed by the family of an art school graduate killed inside a thrift store.

The June collapse obliterated the Salvation Army store and killed 24-year-old Mary Lea Simpson, of Haverford, and five others.

The family's lawsuit Tuesday faults the Salvation Army, adjacent building owner Richard Basciano and demolition contractors, among others.

The lawsuit says Simpson was shopping when an unsupported brick wall collapsed onto the store.

The family's lawyer, Steven Wigrizer (WIG'-rize-ur), previously sued Basciano over the death of a Philadelphia judge who was killed in 1997 when part of a garage collapsed.

Wigrizer says Basciano, once dubbed the porn king of Times Square, has a pattern of negligent behavior.

Basciano's lawyer Thomas Sprague declined to comment.

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