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State Officials File Complaint Against Berkeley Balcony Collapse Contractor

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- A state licensing board has filed a formal complaint against a construction company involved in the building of a Berkeley apartment where a balcony collapse in June 2105 killed six and seriously injured seven others.

The formal accusation against Segue Construction and seeks to suspend or revoke the company's license to do business in California.

In a statement, the California Contractors State License Board claimed "Segue willfully departed from or disregarded building plans or specifications, and willfully departed from accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike construction."

The state agency said design and load analysis of the balcony established that if it "had been built as designed, the imposed load of the 13 students was well within the design limits of the balcony structure."

The accusation also alleges that it was the decay of the joists that caused the balcony to collapse.

Segue was hired to construct the 176-unit complex early in 2005 and completed the project in 2007. A subcontractor was hired to do rough carpentry and framing work, which included installing floor joists for the balconies.

The Pleasanton-based company has been a licensed contractor since 1992 and its current license is set to expire in 2018, according to the licensing board. Segue now has 15 days to file an appeal with the board.

The deck of Unit 405 was sheared from the side of the building while the 13 students were standing on it during a birthday party. Five of the people killed were visiting Irish students.

Forensic analysis later determined that moisture intrusion had caused severe dry rot in the deck's joists. The incident prompted the city of Berkeley to pass stricter building codes for decks and balconies, followed by statewide legislation that increased oversight for contractors.

Meanwhile, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office found that the incident didn't warrant criminal charges.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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