THE company that constructed the Berkeley building in which six Irish students died this week had been sued twice in recent years for “violation of residential building standards”, it has emerged.
California-based Segue Construction constructed the Library Gardens apartment complex, where the balcony collapse tragedy happened on Tuesday.
The firm paid out $6.5million to settle two cases in recent years, and has previously been accused of improperly waterproofing balconies, NBC reports.
Last year, the firm paid out $3million to settle a claim over “water penetration” on several balconies in a San Jose apartment complex.
The previous year they paid out $3.5million in a similar case in Millbrae, where the contractor had been accused of failing to waterproof balconies.
Several Irish students, working in America on J-1 visas, were at a 21st birthday party on Tuesday, when the apartment’s balcony collapsed and the 13 people on it fell 40 feet to the ground.
Six young people died – five from Ireland and one Irish-American - while seven more remain in hospital, where they are receiving treatment for their injuries.
Since the tragedy there has been an outcry over suggestions that dry rot or water damage could have been behind the balcony’s collapse.