HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Harrisburg businessman who has been struggling to reopen his business since a partial wall collapse could get some relief soon.
Howard Henry finally has a court date, and a guilty verdict could mean a sizable award to help fix up his shop, and open his business.
It’s been over five years since a wall from the McFarland Apartments collapsed next to the Mulberry Street Bridge in Harrisburg. It fell below, and landed on top of the roof of Howard Tire and Auto that sits along Cameron Street.
The court determined the owners of the apartment building were responsible.
“They just ignored it recklessly,” Howard Tire and Auto owner Howard Henry said. “Ignored my cries for them to be a good neighbor and fix this.”
Howard Henry had to close his business and it’s been an uphill legal battle ever since: stall tactics, slow rulings, no rulings, the original judge being removed from the case.
“All of the delays, some of them on purpose with no intention of rebuilding their building and that wall in order for me to get back into business,” Henry said.
Henry says he recently received some good news from the new judge.
“I am now at a place where the judge says you get a trial date,” Henry said. “In court, he says you have two issues to resolve: who is going to pay for it, and where is the money going to come from?”
Henry says a trial by jury of his peers will allow them to hear the facts. Since day one of the collapse, all he ever wanted was to reopen his business.
And that will take several million dollars.
“That should have been done in the first three months but instead in year six I stand here with hope,” Henry said.
The trial could last a few weeks and Henry is hopeful that his saga will finally come to an end.
“I don’t want to leave this legacy undone,” Henry said. “It is what I built my life around.”
The trial has been set for January 31.