Lawsuit filed in collapse of Rittenhouse fire escape

PHILADELPHIA - January 27, 2014

The suit was filed on Monday on behalf of the families of 22-year-old Albert Suh and 24-year-old Laura O'Brien.

It was just before midnight on January 12th when Suh, O'Brien, and a thirdperson, identified as Nancy Chen, were standing on the fire escape outside their fourth floor apartment, located at 229 South 22nd Street in the city's Rittenhouse section.

The roommates were throwing a party, and had allegedly stepped out onto the fire escape when the collapse occurred, sending all three plummeting 40 feet to the ground below.

Suh, who was killed in the collapse, was a recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University and worked as a financial analyst at JP Morgan Chase & Company.

O'Brien, a kindergarten teacher at Philadelphia's Grover Cleveland School, suffered a broken back that required surgery and the implantation of steel surgical rods and plates. She also sustained a laceration requiring 60 stitches.

Sources say Chen also suffered a broken back. She, however, is not included in the civil lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that the fire escape was badly corroded and in a weakened condition due to poor maintenance and a lack of inspection. It goes on to claim that the landlord, Alex Khorram of Newtown Square, and owner, Khorram Group LP, knew or should have known of the fire escape's condition.

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