The Real Deal New York

Lomma trying to skirt $96M court judgment by passing assets to daughter: attorneys

"Crane king" was ordered to pay the families of workers killed in 2008 collapse

December 24, 2015 11:25AM

James Lomma Azure

The Azure crane collapse (inset: James Lomma)

The “King of Cranes” is allegedly trying to pass parts of his throne on to his daughter to avoid paying a $96 million court judgment.

Crane magnate James Lomma has been transferring his company’s assets to a company owned by his daughter in order to avoid paying $96 million to the families of the two construction workers killed in a crane collapse in 2008, attorneys for the victim’s families are now alleging.

The attorneys say that Lomma has been handing off dozens of cranes to JK Cranes, a company owned by his daughter Jennifer Gabel, the New York Post reported. Gabel wasn’t necessarily an obvious successor: Her previous gig was managing a cosmetics firm.

In August, a Manhattan jury ordered that Lomma and his company would have to pay $96 million to the families of the two victims — Ramadan Kurtaj and Donald Leo. The two men were killed in 2008 when a 200-foot-tall crane, owned by Lomma, snapped and fell to the ground at 33 East 91st Street. Part of the crane had been damaged and not properly repaired. At the time, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez had prohibited Lomma from transferring assets. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel