Settlement reached for victims of deadly 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse

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Alvin Wu/File

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Parties involved in the 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six people and injured seven others reached a settlement, attorneys announced Nov. 20.

The settlement was reached among the victims, their families, Greystar property managers and BlackRock, the owner of the Library Gardens apartment complex located at 2020 Kittredge St., which was the site of the balcony collapse. The amount of the settlement is confidential, according to the East Bay Times.

The balcony collapse occurred June 16, 2015, when 13 people stood on the balcony at the same time. The victims who were killed in the incident were Ashley Donohoe, 22, of Rohnert Park, and five 21-year-old Irish students: Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eimear Walsh.

Eustace de Saint Phalle, the attorney representing the Donohoe family, told SFGate that although the amount of the settlement is confidential, the parties involved are still free to discuss the facts of the case.

“The most important factor of this settlement for the Donohoe family is that they will be allowed to continue their efforts in the legislature to avoid a tragedy like this from happening again,” de Saint Phalle said to SFGate.

Previously, a partial settlement for the collapse was reached in May that involved some of the defendants involved in the design and construction of the balcony, the injured victims and the families of the deceased students. The amount the families received in this settlement is also confidential.

Another associated settlement was reached between the California Contractors State License Board, or CSLB, and Segue Construction Inc., the contractor responsible for the building of the apartment complex. Because of the settlement, CSLB revoked the license of Segue Construction Inc.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announced in June 2015 that it would conduct an independent investigation into the cause of the balcony collapse. The office, however, announced last year that it will not file criminal charges against any party involved in the incident.

In a statement to the East Bay Times, the Donohoe family said they hoped the incident would promote institutional changes.

“Nothing will ever replace our daughter, our niece or the other four students who died that night,” the Donohoe family said in the statement. “After this tragedy, I would hope all that were involved will join us in our efforts to ensure there are proper changes to the building codes and regulations in California.”

Contact Phil Zhang at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @philzhangDC.