August 20, 2013
(AP) A woman who survived nearly 13 hours in the rubble of a Philadelphia building collapse but lost both legs has sued the Salvation Army, whose store she was in at the time, demolition contractors and others.
An adjacent building being demolished collapsed on the thrift store in June, killing six and injuring 13 others. A demolition subcontractor is charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Lawsuits over the collapse are on hold amid a criminal investigation. But a lawyer for the woman, Mariya (muh-REE'-ah) Plekan, wants to preserve her testimony because of the gravity of her injuries and the delay expected before trial.
Lawyer Andrew Stern says the 52-year-old Plekan also suffered organ damage and remains hospitalized. But he says her mind is sound.
A spokeswoman says the Alexandria, Va.,-based Salvation Army has no immediate comment.