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Greystar named in wrongful death suit



Dive Brief:

  • The family of Michael Delgado has sued Greystar Development & Construction LP and other entities of Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar, claiming negligence that led to the 29-year-old’s death, according to a lawsuit filed in Dallas County court.
  • Delgado was riding his bicycle near a Greystar construction site at the intersection of 24th and Rio Grande streets in Austin, Texas, when unsecured debris from the high-rise project fell on him, causing his death. The plaintiffs, which include Delgado’s wife, mother and father, allege that Greystar’s workers ignored a wind and weather advisory and didn’t properly secure materials at the jobsite.
  • “Our thoughts remain with Mr. Delgado’s family,” a spokesperson for Greystar Development and Construction said in a statement shared with Multifamily Dive. “We have been in communication with the family’s attorneys, and continue to hope for constructive dialogue with them. We are reviewing their filing now and will respond as appropriate through the correct channels.”

Dive Insight:

The lawsuit alleges that Greystar, which started 11,351 units last year, putting it at No. 2 on the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Top 25 Developers list, has a history of failing to secure jobsites in adverse weather. It points to the company’s alleged failure to secure a crane despite knowing of predicted high winds on a jobsite in Dallas. Kiersten Smith, 29, died and several other people were injured when the crane crashed into the Elan City Lights apartment building in June 2019. 

After that incident, a jury found that Greystar was at fault and awarded $860 million to Smith’s family and estate. During the trial attorneys argued that the crane was left in a rigid position and not allowed to “weathervane” or move with the wind gusts, according to television station WFAA in Dallas.

In this year’s incident in Austin, Delgado’s family alleges that Greystar failed to properly maintain, secure and inspect its jobsite. In addition, they say the company failed to properly monitor weather conditions, have proper barriers around the jobsite and follow safety regulations and industry standards designed to protect against falling debris, equipment and tools.

The family also accused Greystar of failing to hire competent employees, agents or contractors and supervise those workers. Delgado’s family seeks “monetary relief within the jurisdictional limits of this court and over $1 million.”

“As a direct and proximate cause of the defendants’ negligence and gross negligence, Michael Delgado sustained severe injuries, which resulted in physical pain, mental anguish, discomfort, physical impairment, emotional distress, pre-death pain, suffering, emotional distress and other medical problems,” according to the plaintiff’s court filings.

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