X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA-A class action complaint has been filed against the developer and several co-defendants following an eight-alarm fire last week at the Riverwalk at Millennium, a multi-building luxury apartment complex. The lawsuit has been filed in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of the tenants displaced by the fire. The suit alleges negligence on the part of the developer, building and management contractors involved in the project.

Defendants named in the complaint are the developer, O’Neill Properties Group of King of Prussia and its subsidiary, Merion Construction; L21 Construction Managers in Leesport, PA.; and Bozutto Corp. in Greenbelt, MD. O’Neill and Bozutto did not return calls in time for publication. L21 could not be reached for comment. The Philadelphia firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky PC, is representing the plaintiffs. A call was not returned to GlobeSt.com from the firm.

Two of the buildings within the complex were completely destroyed by the fire, which required some 300 firefighters to get under control. Residents in the buildings that were spared the flames have since been allowed to return. The Montgomery County District Attorney has revealed that the fire was accidental, started by a construction worker’s torch in the Stables at Millennium apartment building under development at the complex.

In prepared statements Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky maintain that initial reports about the fire suggest it could have been prevented. According to the complaint, the Stables project was wood-frame construction that didn’t have any fire protection measures, including a functioning automatic sprinkler system.

The law firm intends to focus on the relationship between the developer, O’Neill Properties, and the general contractor, Merion Construction, Robert Mongeluzzi says in a prepared statement. “It is the role of the GC to act independently to ensure the safety of the construction site. However, in this case Merion is a wholly owned subsidiary of O’Neill Properties.”

Meanwhile, the tenants from the complex have formed an association to advocate for their interests. This group, called the Riverwalk Tenants Network, is not related to the lawsuit, a spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. Rather, it has established an online forum on Facebook to help tenants find new living quarters and otherwise provide guidance to the process of restarting their lives. The group also formed to keep the tight knit community of apartment dwellers together as much as possible. “At least half a dozen former tenants have left the community already,” the spokesman says.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.