SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — The San Francisco District Attorney’s office has launched a formal investigation into conditions at an upscale Nob Hill apartment building where a woman recently fell to her death through an apparently rotted staircase.

“That (death) is pretty shocking,” Ed Sweeney, an inspector with the San Francisco Building & Inspection Department, told CBS 5. His agency is also conducting a probe into the circumstances surrounding the fall that claimed the life last weekend of 62-year-old Rory Moore.

Moore was walking down the outside steps from her apartment in the four-story building when she fell through the staircase, fracturing her ribs and lacerating her liver and kidneys; she later died from internal bleeding.

Residents in the building at 1340 Taylor Street, where rents average from $3,000 to $4,000 a month, said that Moore was the third person in as many years to fall through the steps — which appeared to be suffering from dry rot. The tenants contend the rotting staircase was never replaced despite their complaints about the prior falls; the other victims survived.

The management company refused to comment on the allegations of negligence. Inspectors indicated the landlord has been cited previously for numerous code violations at their properties in the city and have been the subject of lawsuits.

“Multiple cases against the Lembi family are still pending,” Sweeney said.

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)


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