A woman whose leg was amputated in the midst of an apartment building collapse in downtown Davenport, along with her spouse, has filed suit against landlord Andrew Wold and others.
At a press conference in downtown Davenport on Wednesday, new information was shared about the couple affected by the building collapse.
Attorneys Andrew Stroth and Steven Hart represent Lexus and Quanishia Berry, whose 80-page lawsuit was filed in Scott County Court.
Lexus Berry and her wife, Quanishia, also known as “Peach,” say their lives have changed drastically since the partial building collapse when Quanishia suffered life-changing injuries. Lexus says she won’t stop until justice is served.
“Everything is for a reason and as tragic as this is, we aren’t backing down,” Lexus Berry said. “We’re going to stand our ground and prevail in the situation.”
Hart has concerns about the potential demolition of the building.
“There is significant evidence that exists over there that answers questions about how this tragedy occurred,” he said. “I hope that they are taking every step to preserve the importance and relevance of why that structure came down and why our clients came down with it.”
The Berrys are trying to remain thankful through it all. “I will not let this haunt me. If anything, I will come out stronger than before,” Lexus Berry said.
Quanisha Berry is recovering at Genesis Medical Center – East Campus, Davenport.
The Berrys name Davenport Hotel, LLC, dba The Hotel Davenport Apartments; Andrew Wold, individually; Andrew Wold Investments, LLC; Village Property Management, LLC; Alliance Contracting, LLC; Select Structural Engineering, LLC; Bi-State Masonry, LLC; the City of Davenport; Waukee Investments I, LLC; and Parkwild Properties, LLC; as defendants in their case.
“Now, more than one week after the preventable building collapse, Peach is just out of a coma and is lying in a hospital bed after her left leg was emergently amputated above the knee to extricate her from the bricks, steel, and rubble from the collapsed building that fell on top of her,” the lawsuit says. Her right leg was “traumatically lacerated” as well and will likely require multiple surgeries if she is able to keep it.
Lexus Berry, the suit says, escaped with cuts and bruises, “but she cannot, of course, escape from the utter devastation and mental torment of being in the zone of the danger and seeing her wife plummet four stories to the ground along with the collapsing building.”
The lawsuit says the couple wants to hold all those accountable “for this avoidable event,” to ensure that Peach and Lexus Berry are fairly compensated for the devastating injuries they have endured and will endure for the rest of their lives, and to punish, by way of punitive damages, those defendants who exhibited willful and wanton disregard for the safety of the tenants at The Davenport such that no preventable tragedy like this happens to anyone in Scott County ever again.
Peach fell through the floor and several stories below
The collapse caused Lexus Berry to fall to the floor, where she was able to curl into a ball on the little flooring that remained beneath her, the suit says: “She felt a bright light, and quickly realized that the apartment she stood in a moment before was suddenly missing. Lexus was bruised and cut, but alive. She was on a small piece of wood or a beam, lucky to have not plummeted with the rest of her apartment and, most tragically, her wife.”
Peach Berry fell through the floor and down several stories to the rubble below. Structural debris fell on top of her, trapping her under the bricks and steel that came crashing down with the building.
Crews extricated Peach nearly eight hours after the collapse. “She was trapped underneath the rubble and could not move, unimaginably lying for hours and hours in excruciating, gut-wrenching pain,” the suit says. While trapped she was terrified, not sure if she would survive or be found, all the while enduring water and structural debris raining down on top of her. The only way the emergency responders could extricate Peach was to amputate her left leg above the knee, the lawsuit says.
The suit says “For years, the building collapse was waiting to happen. The defendants knew, or certainly should have known, about the structural deficiencies with the building. They were unwilling, however, to spend the money to fix the building and ensure the safety of the unwitting tenants who paid to live there.”
Some defendants refused to spend the money to keep the tenants safe, some refused to take action to ensure the building was properly maintained an habitable, and all refused to extend the minimum decency of warning the tenants they were in danger, the suit says.
The suit also lists numerous reports about building issues preceding the collapse.
The Berrys demand a jury trial, according to the lawsuit.