Harrisburg wall collapse blame game continues, no one taking responsibility

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The blame game continues, and still no one is taking responsibility for the wall that collapsed on Howard Tire and Auto in Harrisburg last year.

A wall adjacent to the Mulberry Street bridge collapsed onto part of the store in May, and Howard Henry went out of business in October.

The city of Harrisburg is taking McFarland Apartments to court to take responsibility for the collapse.

Adam Klein, the attorney for McFarland, said, "Well currently there are two things that have been filed by the city of Harrisburg. One was a condemnation order along with a directive to clean up and then the second one was a citation that was pretty much based on that condemnation order. Last summer we filed an appeal to the Harrisburg Housing and Building Code Board of Appeals which had a hearing in October where they denied our appeal, and we appealed that to the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas."

Mark Wendaur, Henry's attorney, said it's a frustrating process and everyone is pointing fingers.

Wendaur said, "Mr. Henry has been left to deal with the aftermath of it, and through essentially taking advantage of the appeals process. McFarland has been able to drag this out and kick the can down the road rather than take action to fix it."

He said McFarland was working on the wall months before it collapsed.

"There should've been some investigation: Hey is this a proper fix for this? Do we need to do more? And really the response from McFarland was, 'You know we put a bandaid on it. That's good enough for now. We'll see what happens,'" Wendaur said.

All parties agree Henry is the one losing out.

Wendaur said, "He happens to be the guy at the bottom of the hill who had a wall fall on him and that's the terrible part about this."

Klein said, "Obviously we feel very bad for Mr. Henry. You know he obviously is not involved in this at all other than the fact he was impacted. This is a very complicated case that is going to take a long time and has taken a long time to untangle."

In the end, someone else may also have to pay the price.

"Initially at the end of all this we'll find out who's responsible for this wall and they'll be the ones to blame in all this," Wendaur said.

He said he plans to file a civil suit against McFarland for property damage and the lost value of Henry's business.



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