Lawsuit Filed Against Developer in Fatal Building CollapseCity Officials Had Issued Stop-Work Order on Property
August 18, 2000
A worker who was one of three people killed or seriously injured when a three story building at 4606 South Indiana Street collapsed on August 1, 2000, today filed a lawsuit against the developer of the property, Guy Alessia, in Cook County Circuit Court.
Thomas A. Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio filed the suit on behalf of George Spielvogel, 22, whose left leg was crushed by the falling rubble. The injuries were so severe that Mr. Spielvogel's leg had to be amputated, above the knee, late last week. Mr. Spielvogel's uncle, Jaroslov Spielvogel, 41, was also working at the site. He was killed in the building's collapse and Mr. Demetrio represents his estate as well.
City officials had issued a stop-work order to Alessia on April 24, 2000 after inspectors discovered that he was making structural changes to the building without obtaining the proper permits. Alessia ignored the order and hired both George and Jaroslav Spielvogel, among others, to continue the renovations. According to Chicago Building Commissioner Mary Richardson-Lowry, Alessia had submitted a new application for a permit in early July, but that application was not approved
The lawsuit alleges that Alessia maintained the building in an unsafe condition, violated the City's stop-work order and allowed workers to renovate the building without the proper authorization from City officials.
In response to the building's collapse, Mayor Daley and the City Council passed new ordinances that raise the fines and impose jail sentences on builders who work without proper permits.