A jury in Manhattan decided Monday that the families of two men killed in a 2008 construction crane collapse should get $48 million in punitive damages from the crane’s owner and his companies.
Lomma and his companies will now have to pay $32 million to the family of Ramadan Kurtaj and $15.8 million to the family of Donald Leo.
After a criminal acquittal and a once-derailed wrongful death trial, a construction crane owner on Thursday again faced a civil trial in a collapse that killed two workers and helped spur new safety rules.
The judge said Friday that because the owner of New York Crane and Equipment, James Lomma, is in the hospital and could not attend court proceedings, the trial would be postponed until September.
Donald Leo’s mother said she wants justice for the 30-year-old crane operator who was killed in the may 2008 crane collapse on 91st Street and First Avenue.
There was anger in a Manhattan courtroom Thursday after a construction company owner was acquitted in a crane collapse that killed two workers on the Upper East Side.
Interspersed with testimony about the bad welding jobs, the crack in the turntable that supported the crane operator’s cab, and the accusations of negligence by the crane owner, there are the witnesses who bring home the human tragedy.
Lomma is accused of making inferior repairs to a crane to save money and prosecutors say he failed to take steps to ensure the repair was sound.