Questions about the permit for the Zoi’s dock that collapsed

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Hamilton County Attorney Rheuben Taylor told News 12 that Zoi’s Restaurant, where a deck collapsed on Saturday, never got a permit to build it.

News 12 also spoke with another local attorney about the legal ramifications of this, and how it could play into the investigations to follow.

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It was a horrifying scene at Zoi’s in Harbor Lights Marina, as a birthday party holding more than 40 people on the restaurant’s outdoor deck collapsed beneath them.

Management wasn’t available for comment Monday, but questions linger about Taylor’s claims that they did not have a permit for their deck.

“If they put something up like that without a permit that’s going to also assume that there wasn’t inspections done to see if it was put together properly, which will also lend to the issue of whether or not it was done negligently.”

Local attorney Robin Flores tells News 12 that those involved could be entitled to compensation, but there are some ways that the defendants could avoid paying.

“You have a possibility that these three possible sets of defendants could bankrupt out, either a discharge on a Chapter 7 or a restructuring under a Chapter 11 or Chapter 13. You have 11 people who may have no ability to recover.”

While the full extent of the damage is not yet known, Hamilton County Building Codes was on scene Monday afternoon, inspecting the deck to find the cause of the collapse.