The Law Offices of Martin von Mizener

California Board Certified Workers Compensation Specialist

Administration Fined for Ignoring Court Order in Construction Collapse

Posted on | June 15, 2010 | 7 Comments

New York State Supreme Court judge Paul G. Feinman ordered the New York City mayor’s office to pay $5,000 in legal fees to the families of two workers killed when a construction crane collapsed on East 91st Street in May 2008. The judge found that the city had repeatedly failed to comply with court orders to provide documents requested by counsel for the families of the deceased workers. He referred to the city’s conduct as a “flagrant disregard” of the court’s order. Attorneys for the city claim there was no violation of the court’s request and say they are considering their options.

The accident that led to the lawsuit occurred on May 30, 2008 when the top of a construction crane snapped and fell to the ground, killing workers Donald C. Leo and Ramadan Krutaj. According to reports, the crane had been the subject of numerous complaints since construction began in July, 2007, and had been shut down on April 24, 2008, for safety reasons.

Attorneys for the families of the killed workers have sued the crane company and the NYC Buildings Department, alleging negligence and corruption in the building project. They have repeatedly requested that the Bloomberg administration produce documents, e-mails and any other information concerning equipment inspected by the city.  They have sought copies of communications from the city’s Buildings Department concerning the specific crane involved in the accident, and have also attempted to prevent city officials from testing the crane without the plaintiffs or their lawyers present.

The incident has also led to the filing of criminal charges against James Lomma, the owner of the crane company, for manslaughter. The criminal complaint alleges that Lomma knew the crane had a broken turntable, but ordered its use anyway.

In addition, the city inspector who approved the crane was charged with neglect of duty and resigned.

Contact Martin von Mizener, an experienced workers compensation attorney in Orange County, California. You can visit his website at or call his office at 562-698-8428.


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