Fallen York City firefighters' loved ones suing engineering firm
York City Mayor Michael Helfrich leads press conference update on fallen firefighters and Weaver Piano Co. building at City Hall in York City, Friday, March 23, 2018.
The loved ones of two fallen York City firefighters are suing the engineering firm they say is responsible for surveying the Weaver Piano & Organ building the day of the fatal collapse.
Attorneys for Casey Flanscha, widow of Ivan Flanscha, and Allison Hoffman, fiancee of Zachary Anthony, filed a wrongful death suit against Carney Engineering Group and its president, Josh Carney, on Thursday, May 24.
In April, attorneys filed a praecipe, an intent to sue notice, against C.S. Davidson Inc., another York City-based engineering firm. No suit was filed, according to online court records.
The case was listed as discontinued Thursday, according to court filings.
C.S. Davidson issued a statement at the time saying that the organization was called to the site after the collapse that trapped the men. No employee had set foot inside the building until then, the firm said.
Ivan Flanscha, 50, and Anthony, 29, died after a wall collapsed March 22 while they were at the former Weaver Piano & Organ Co. building at 127 N. Broad St.
The building had been on fire the day before, and the two were among a group of four checking for hot spots that day. The two other firefighters suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
Complaint: In the filings, their attorneys said that Carney Engineering was called to advise the York City Fire Department on the structural integrity of the building. The engineers were supposed to tell the department if the building was safe for firefighters to enter, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that the engineers informed the fire department that the building was safe for firefighters to enter.
It alleges that engineers surveyed the building by entering it and by being raised in a bucket truck outside the building to survey various locations in the upper floors of the building.
"At the time of the survey conducted by the Carney defendants, the Weaver Piano building was not structurally sound, nor was it safe to enter any portion of that building at that time," the attorneys for Flanscha and Hoffman wrote in the complaint.
Instead, the building was in "imminent danger" of collapse, the filings state.
"The deaths of firefighter Flanscha and firefighter Anthony were caused directly and proximately by the negligent, careless, intentional, and/or reckless conduct of the Carney defendants," their attorneys wrote in the suit.
The suit alleges professional negligence and wrongful death. The suit is seeking $50,000 for each count for both families.
Ivan Flanscha had been with the department since 1999, and Anthony had been there since 2010.
Stewart Cohen and Joel Rosen, two Philadelphia-based attorneys representing the women in the case, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday afternoon.
A message left for Carney on Thursday afternoon also was not returned.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.