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General Contractor Cleared by OSHA in Berkman Collapse

5:39 PM, Jun 9, 2009   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The construction company hired to build the parking garage at the Berkman Plaza II says OSHA has cleared it of any wrongdoing in the deadly collapse.

The garage collapsed while under construction on December 6, 2007, killing construction worker William Edwards III.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, cited Choate Construction Company for three violations.

Choate challenged the findings.  Two prominent engineering firms hired by Choate concluded a "grossly deficient" design led to the collapse.

OSHA revisited the issue, and after a lenghty investigation, released a statement of Stipulated Facts:

"The Secretary of Labor does not contend that the acts, transactions, or occurrences which are the subject matter of the Citations issued to  Choate Construction Company pursuant to Occupational Safety and Health Administration's inspection Number 310034293 caused the collapse of the Berkman Plaza II Project parking structure."

Choate told First Coast News the findings point elsewhere.  The company had said before the the structural engineer of the project, Structural Consulting Group, LLC, of Alpharetta, Georgia, is to blame.  The company and Berkman Plaza have not returned calls for comment.

First Coast News

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