Wrongful Death Suit after Crane Collapse Results in $47 Million Jury Verdict

Along wrongful death case that had worked through the New York court system has finally ended in a verdict. The case is about the deaths of two men who were working on a construction crew back in 2008. They were in Midtown Manhattan. The crew was constructing a new building in the area. A multistory crane was being used to move supplies and help with construction. The crane operator was an experienced man named Donald Leo. He was being supported by others on the ground. This included a sewer worker named Ramadan Kurtaj who was attempting to coordinate with the employees above ground.

While the crane was in full operation, a single component failed high up on the rig. This one piece caused many other parts of the crane to fail. The result is that crane broke apart and the top portion crashed down into the street and buildings below. A large pile of debris and rubble was formed at the crash site. Unfortunately, Leo was killed when the crane came apart. The falling pieces of metal and debris also landed on and killed Kurtaj instantly. It was not immediately known why the crane failed.

The families of the workers attempted to sue several different parties over the course of many years after the accident. They eventually lost all those cases. It was not until they finally targeted the owner of the crane that progress was made. The owner was named James Lomma. What came out during trial is that Emma might have been responsible for the fatal accident because he tried to cut corners with crane repairs and maintenance. A single repair he allowed to be done shoddily most likely triggered the failure that caused the deaths.

The wrongful death suit against Lomma did not go easily. The trial had to be stopped at one point because the defendant was injured in an auto accident. The case took months to finally conclude. The families were very pleased with the jury decision in the end. The surviving family of Donald Leo was given over $15 million. The family of Ramadan Kurtaj will receive around $32 million. These judgments are against Lomma meaning that he will have to find a way to pay the families the money.

The positive results of the trial were due to the persistence of the families and the hard work of the attorneys. Many defenses were asserted over the course of the case. Some might have derailed inexperienced attorneys or people attempting to litigate without formal legal knowledge. That did not happen in this case. The right lawyers were able to get both families the fair compensation they deserved for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.