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Earthquake Damage and Injury Litigation

California is long overdue for a devastating earthquake. We hear it all the time and are reminded of it every time there is one of lesser magnitude nearby. Injury and property damage is always of utmost concern in responding to such unpredictable events.

Losses in an earthquake can often be beyond anyone’s knowledge or ability to have anticipated. However, some damage is preventable. In those instances where a builder, landlord, neighbor or commercial owner should have taken reasonable (and often legally required) preventative measures in construction or repair and did not, Mr. Pierce and his team have experience in helping clients who have sustained not only massive damage but sometimes unthinkable loss through the process of seeking civil justice and reinforcement of building laws.

Example: San Simeon Earthquake - Mr. Pierce partnered with Joel Castro in representing the families of 2 women who lost their lives in the San Simeon Earthquake in 2003 when the roof of the 100-year-old unreinforced masonry landmark Acorn Building in Paso Robles collapsed on them. A jury returned a $2 million verdict. Multiple affirming appeals resulting in a published landmark court case of [Myrick v. Mastagni, (2010) 185 Cal. App. 4th 1082]. The case went to the California Supreme Court and was upheld.

The Decision of the case adopted fully the plaintiffs’ position that local city ordinances with extended mandated deadlines for earthquake retrofitting by a certain date, did not insulate the building owners from liability for injuries or deaths caused by collapse of a building prior to the compliance date.

As a result of this case, California building owners can now, be held liable for failing to retrofit unreinforced masonry buildings that create unsafe conditions that cause death or injury to occupants in the event of collapse in an earthquake.

San Simeon Earthquake

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Pierce Construction Law

11835 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 1150 E

Los Angeles, CA 90064

telephone: (310) 231-0400