What Causes Concrete Failures and Deaths?

Earlier this month, several workers were injured in a partial collapse of a parking deck that is currently under construction in Midtown Atlanta. The parking structure is located at 530 West Peachtree Street on the corner of W. Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue. The next day, construction crews were inside trying to shore up the structure when a second collapse occurred.

The second collapse seriously injured one worker when the I-beam he was working on collapsed and took out 10 stories of the parking deck interior. The city of Atlanta has completely shut down the project and the streets around the partially built parking deck are closed indefinitely. The causes of these collapses are currently under investigation.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a structural collapse, or in any other type of construction site accident in Atlanta, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. at 678-981-5370 for a free consultation to assess your case and look at all of your legal options.

For more than four decades, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. has stood up for working people who have suffered serious and sometimes fatal injuries through no fault of their own. We have successfully pursued some of the most complex construction accident cases, and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.

BJC Helps Secure Major Victory for West Virginia’s Largest Airport

Our firm was part of the legal team that secured an 8-figure settlement last year on behalf of Yeager Airport in West Virginia because of the structural collapse of what was the world’s largest engineered slope. When the slope collapsed, it produced a catastrophic landslide that wiped out a church and a home and severely damaged several other homes in the area.

The airport had been sounding the alarm about shifting in blocks, cracks in asphalt, and other problems for five years, but the engineering and design firms in charge of the project maintained that there was nothing to worry about all the way up until the day before the collapse. This landmark litigation was served justice for a major man-made disaster that took almost two decades to create.

What are the Most Common Causes of Concrete Failures and Deaths?

There are five common ways in which concrete can fail:

  • Mechanical Failure: This usually occurs because of physical impacts that weaken the structure, such as collisions, vibrations, and too much weight/overloading.
  • Chemical Failure: There is a chemical reaction that is required initially to create strong and durable concrete. However, even if this is accomplished, other chemical reactions such as sulfates and other soil contaminants can cause the cement matrix to weaken.
  • Fire: The excessive heat and extreme temperatures generated by fires can negatively alter the properties of the concrete, which can cause it to weaken and deteriorate.
  • Electrical Currents: Stray electrical currents that carry high volts through the inside of the concrete can have a cancerous effect and cause the concrete to deteriorate from the inside out.
  • Corrosion: Exterior concrete is at a high risk of corrosion due to inclement weather as well as road salts, heavy vehicle traffic, and similar issues.

Concrete failures are very complex events, and there are often multiple factors that cause a failure that is serious enough to trigger a structural collapse. Oftentimes, it results from a combination of technical factors, but as was the case with the Yeager Airport landslide, contractor negligence was the root cause. The defendants in that case had several years to address the problem, but they did nothing about it.

The recent incident with the multiple collapses and serious injuries at the parking structure in Midtown Atlanta is still under investigation, and we will learn more about what happened in the coming days. What we do know so far is that the company overseeing this parking deck project has been fined twice for OSHA violations during the past five years. One of these instances involved the death of a construction worker in 2017 at the Northside Hospital construction project.

Injured in a Concrete Failure Accident in Atlanta? Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for Legal Help

Concrete failures and deaths are most often preventable, and they are usually the result of negligence on the part of a contractor, designer, engineer, or other parties who were involved in the project. If this has happened to someone close to you, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. is here to help. For your free consultation and case assessment, call our Atlanta office today at 678-981-5370 or send us an online message. We look forward to serving you!