The Real Deal New York

Restoration Hardware subcontractors to face manslaughter charges in worker’s death

Harco, Sky Materials employees sought to dismiss charges tied to April 2015 incident

March 23, 2016 03:00PM

9-19 Ninth Avenue

9-19 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District last April (inset: Carlos Moncayo) (credit: New York District Attorney’s Office)

The fallout from a young construction worker’s death last year at the Restoration Hardware site in Meatpacking District continues, with two supervising subcontractors losing a bid Tuesday to have charges against them dismissed.

Harco Construction’s Alfonso Prestia and Sky Materials’ Wilmer Cueva were charged with manslaughter in the death of 22-year-old Carlos Moncayo, who was doing foundation work in a unsecured trench at 9-19 Ninth Avenue in April 2015 when it gave way and crushed him under thousands of pounds of dirt.

Both men appeared Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, where a judge ruled against motions from their attorneys to dismiss their case, according to DNAinfo.

In addition to the individual charges, Harco and Sky Materials are facing charges from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in relation to Moncayo’s death, for allegedly ignoring requests to reinforce deep trenches dug for foundation work at the Restoration Hardware site. Moncayo’s family is also pursuing civil suits against the two firms.

Kenneth Hart, who owns Harco, had his construction license revoked in August by the city’s Department of Buildings after amassing 30 safety violations over the previous two years. All of Hart’s eight open job sites at the time were owned by the Cayre family and its affiliated companies — including Aurora Capital Associates, which is headed by Bobby Cayre and is co-developing the Restoration Hardware site alongside William Gottlieb Real Estate.

Hart has since had his license restored, according to DNAinfo, after it was suspended for just one month plus five months of probation. [DNAinfo]Rey Mashayekhi

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