By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Attorneys for a couple injured in the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse intend to sue multiple government agencies over allegations of neglect.
Attorneys for Tyrone and Velva Perry sent notices of intent to sue the city of Pittsburgh, PennDOT and the Port Authority on Thursday. The couple were in a red pickup truck, one of five that plunged into the abyss when the bridge collapsed two weeks ago. Both have broken vertebrae.
“This is not a random accident. It was a disaster, and predictable,” said attorney Paul Ellis.
Ellis said the city, PennDOT and the Port Authority “roll the dice and cut corners at the expense of public safety.”
The bridge, like many other bridges, has been underrated for more than a decade. In 2017, inspectors said they needed an overhaul “because the general structure was degraded and not durable enough,” and proposed a restoration project estimated at $1.5 million. That project was never funded.
Ten people suffered what officials described as minor injuries, but Ellis said there was nothing small about Perry’s shattered back. Their daughter, Erin, said her mother had broken two vertebrae and her father had broken one severely.
Both have hard shell back braces, and Erin says their mobility is limited. She said her parents’ road to recovery is long, but they’re not sure how long they will be at the moment. She said they were also traumatized by the experience.
“It is a shocking situation that people from all over are calling to share their prayers and support and talk about their trauma at the thought of this happening to themselves. So it was a very traumatic experience to be recalled and recounted repeatedly throughout the day,” she said.
One of the vehicles involved in the collapse was a bus of the Port Authority. When asked why the Port Authority was included in the lawsuit, the lawyers said the agency was involved, but they did not want to talk about “liability theory” before filing anything.
These notices are the first step in notifying Pittsburgh, PennDOT, and the Port Authority of possible regulatory action.
Erin said she hopes the lawsuit means that what happened to her parents never happens to anyone else.
Andy Sheehan will have more on this story on KDKA Evening News.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/11/couple-suing-pittsburgh-bridge-collapse-injuries/ Injured couple at Pittsburgh Bridge Collapse seeks an end – CBS Pittsburgh