Civil suits filed over fatal Berkeley balcony collapse

- At least 12 lawsuits were filed Thursday in connection with the deadly Berkeley balcony collapse that happened last June.

The complaints, filed in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, name BlackRock Inc. of New York and other entities associated with the 176-unit Library Gardens building at 2020 Kittredge St., a few blocks west of the UC Berkeley campus.

On June 16, a fifth-floor balcony collapsed, apparently as a result of dry rot, sending a group of mostly Irish students plummeting to the ground.

Killed were Ashley Donohoe, 22, of Rohnert Park and Irish citizens Olivia Burke, Eoghan Colligan, Niccolai Schuster, Lorcan Miller and Eimear Walsh, all 21. At least seven others were hurt. 

The defendants have not responded to the suits in court.

Prosecutors are conducting a parallel criminal investigation. Investigators have conducted what they call "destructive testing" of the balcony that failed and are still analyzing evidence, said Teresa Drenick, spokeswoman for District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

Last month, Ireland President Michael Higgins came to Berkeley to personally thank the police and firefighters who responded to the deadly incident.



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