State wants contractor's license suspended after fatal balcony collapse

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Nearly a year-and-a-half since a deadly Berkeley balcony collapse, a state agency is now calling for the general contractor at the helm to have its license suspended or revoked.

ABC7 News called and stopped by that contractor's office Tuesday but has not received a response. They have 15 days to file what's called a "Notice of Defense." If they don't, their license will be revoked.

The Contractors State License Board says general contractor Segue Construction Incorporated did not follow plans and specifications when building this balcony at Library Gardens Apartments in Berkeley. On June 16th, 2015, a balcony collapsed there with 13 people on it. Six died and 7 more were injured. "If things were done up to standards and were done with the correct materials, we believe that that collapse would not have happened," says Contractors State License Board spokesperson Rick Lopes.

It is for that reason the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is recommending suspending or revoking Segue Construction's license. CSLB alleges the general contractor did not follow trade standards, specifically, that it did not properly pressure treat or waterproof the materials used. "Segue is responsible for everything that happened on that project," Lopes says.

Most of the people injured and killed were Irish citizens in the Bay Area on a summer exchange program. In a statement, the Irish Consul General for the Western United States welcomed the announcement saying, "It is a further step in the measures that our families both here in California and in Ireland have been urging the state authorities to take in order to prevent other such tragedies."

Seque Construction will have the opportunity to defend itself. In the meantime, the company can continue to contract. If the company's license is revoked it could re-apply for it in one to five years.
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