A settlement has been reaching over claims against a number of parties following the deaths of six students after a balcony collapsed in Berkeley, California on June 16, 2015. The students were on their J1 visa and celebrating a 21st birthday party.
Lorcan Miller, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster and Eoghan Culligan were the five Irish students who lost their lives in June of 2015. Ashley Donohoe, who lived in California and was a cousin of Olivia Burke, also died in the collapse. The balcony collapse left another seven Irish students severely injured.
A statement was issued by Walk up Law Office, who represented all the Irish victims, confirmed settlements had been reached against realtors BlackRock Realty Advisors and Greystar RS California, Inc and their related affiliates. The statement included:
BlackRock and Greystar have adopted policies and procedures regarding the inspections of balconies on the properties that they own or manage on a regularly scheduled basis...The parties also have agreed to work to promote greater awareness of balcony safety issues and take appropriate actions to prevent future tragedies of this nature.
The terms of the settlement remain confidential. Design defects of the building allowed water to penetrate the interior of the balcony which caused the development of wood rot and the eventual collapse. Blackrock nor Greystar discovered this during inspections of the property.