Loved ones of fallen York firefighters sue engineering firm for negligence, wrongful death

YORK COUNTY -- The loved ones of fallen York firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony have filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the engineering firm that evaluated the structural stability of the Weaver Piano Building prior to its collapse on March 22.

The collapse occurred while fire crews were inside, and Flanscha and Anthony were killed at the scene.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday morning in the York County Court of Common Pleas, lists Casey Flanscha and Allison Brooke Hoffman, the administrators of the firefighters' estates, as co-plaintiffs. The defendant is listed as Carney Engineering Group, Inc., and Josh Carney, its president.

The plaintiffs are suing Carney and his firm for wrongful death and professional negligence and are seeking survival action benefits and other damages in excess of $50,000 for each count for each estate.

The suit alleges that Flanscha and Anthony died due to the "negligent, careless, intentional and/or reckless conduct of the defendants," who failed "to take proper steps to determine the structural integrity of the building" and failed "to clearly communicate what portions of the building were unsafe for entry on March 22."

Carney Engineering Group was tasked with advising the York Fire Department and evaluating the structural safety of the Weaver Piano Building on March 22 -- one day after the building had been heavily damaged by a two-alarm fire.

According to the lawsuit, after conducting a survey of the building's structural integrity on March 22 -- which included entering the building and "being raised in a Fire Department bucket truck outside the building to survey various locations in the upper floors of the building," the Carney Engineering Group informed members of the York Fire Department that the structure of the building was sound and that the building was safe for entry by firefighters.

A crew of firefighters then went inside the building to extinguish ongoing fire spots that were still burning.

Flanscha and Anthony were working on the 4th floor inside the building when it collapsed at approximately 3 p.m., the lawsuit says. They were trapped in rubble from the collapse and had to be extricated by other members of their crew. Both died from injuries they sustained in the collapse.