The City of Philadelphia on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the owner of the Lindley Towers building which suffered a partial collapse last week, declaring the property in “permanent danger”, and demanding repairs and a judgment of nearly 1 $.5 million for fines and other costs.
At the same time, a legal aid association filed a complaint asking for help for the displaced residents, many of whom are still living in emergency shelters.
Court of Common Pleas Judge Anne Marie Coyle quickly ordered a hearing Thursday morning for the defendants to respond to the city’s emergency case.
City spokesman Kevin Lessard said the lawsuit was filed “to hold the defendants accountable for the condition of the building” and that the city “provided temporary emergency housing for those who had nowhere to go while the legal process unfolded. .”
Philip C. Pulley, who is named as a defendant in both complaints and identified by the city as the owner of the building, could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
READ MORE: A Fishtown pizzeria and part of a North Philly apartment building collapsed in minutes
An upper portion of the seven-story building at 1220 Lindley Ave. in Logan collapsed on September 14, forcing the evacuation of approximately 100 residents. The apartments have remained unoccupied since then. No injuries were reported.
The city said in its lawsuit that Lindley Towers remains an “ongoing danger to public health, safety and welfare” and asked the court for an order “to reduce public nuisance on the premises” and ask the defendants to “correct all violations”. and pay fines and inspection fees.
According to the city’s lawsuit, the building did not have a rental license at the time of the collapse and that the most recent rental license expired on February 21, 2021.
» READ MORE: Photos of the partial collapse of the Lindley Towers
The city alleges that Pulley and other defendants “failed to provide relocation assistance” to the displaced occupants, then only offered to help some of the residents on Monday.
The city also alleges that the defendants failed to provide an engineering report on the current condition of the partially collapsed facade.
According to the lawsuit, the property has been the subject of nearly 50 complaints over the past two years regarding the building’s conditions and has been the subject of six infraction notices from the city.
The city went to court earlier this year and won a judgment Aug. 16 for $927,800, according to the lawsuit. The city did not elaborate on the current status of that earlier case.
The lawsuit filed by the non-profit Community Legal Services on behalf of residents alleges that Lindley Towers was infested with mice and cockroaches, and that residents suffered due to faulty plumbing causing leaks, refrigerators and broken stoves, flooded toilets and mold.
The named defendants in the city lawsuit are Lindley Tower Realty Co. LP, Old Lindley Corp., Philip C. Pulley, Paul Early, SBG Management Services PA Inc. and Pacific Western Bank.
The same defendants, excluding the bank, are named in the Community Legal Services lawsuit.
On the same day as the partial collapse of Lindley Towers, a building with a pizzeria in Fishtown completely collapsed. No one was injured in the latter.
L&I officials have previously acknowledged that more than 1,000 buildings collapse each year in Philadelphia — up to three a day — and some 2,000 more are added to the list of properties deemed “imminently unsafe.”