Family files lawsuit in parking garage collapse

Samuel Perez 1 of 4 men killed in collapse at Miami-Dade College's Doral campus

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The family of one of the construction workers killed when a parking garage collapsed at Miami-Dade College's Doral campus filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday.

Samuel Perez, 53, was one of four men killed when the garage collapsed on Oct. 10.

According to the lawsuit, Perez was driving a cement truck when the garage collapsed, trapping him inside for 17 hours. Rescue workers amputated his legs in an effort to save him, but he died after he was transported to the hospital.

"It's turned the world upside down, you know. Nothing's ever going to be the same," said Jimmy Ramirez, Perez's son. "It's the worst thing that could happen to us."

The lawsuit was filed against Ajax Building Corporation, Inc.; M.A.R. Contracting, Inc.; MEP Structural Engineering and Inspections, Inc.; Bliss & Nyitray, Inc. and Haryard Jolly, Inc. It alleges the companies rushed the construction of the garage to meet a deadline.

"Through this lawsuit we seek to hold the defendants accountable for the utter gross negligence and reckless conduct that took the life of Samuel Perez," attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez, who is representing Migdalia Lopez, Perez's wife, said in a news release. "The defendants built a house of cards with a conscious disregard for the dangers associated with the project, and it eventually came tumbling down, killing innocent people and devastating families. This type of outrageous conduct must not be tolerated, and we hope this incident will serve as a reminder of the dangers associated with construction and help to ensure the stability of buildings and the safety of the hardworking people that construct them."

Alia Faraj, a spokesperson for Ajax Building Corporation issued a response, saying: "While not appropriate to comment on ongoing litigation, Ajax is committed to a full investigation of the tragedy and continues to work closely with investigators to find the cause of the accident. To the fullest extent possible, we are assisting OSHA in their investigation. Particularly as we enter the holiday season, our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and loved ones of those affected by this tragedy."

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