The Real Deal New York

James Lomma won’t sell private plane to pay families of crane collapse victims

"Crane king" was ordered to pay workers' next of kin a total of $96M

October 17, 2016 08:38AM

James Lomma

Crane mogul James Lomma is refusing to sell his favorite airplane to make good on a $96 million verdict against him for the 2008 crane collapse that killed two people on the Upper East Side.

According to the New York Post, Lomma argued the $4.6 million Pilatus PC-12 turbo-prop plane would cost him $480,000 in adverse tax consequences were he to sell the rig.

A Manhattan jury found him 61 percent liable and his firm 39 percent liable for the 2008 collapse. Lomma owned the crane that collapsed in 2008 at the site of the Azure condominium at 33 East 91st Street, killing Donald Leo and Ramadan Kurtaj, who were working on the site.

His assets were listed between $4 million and $40 million with debts between $40 million and $200 million. Lomma argued in bankruptcy filings that the airplane is used for business purposes and it saves his firm up to 16 commercial airline tickets a month.

According to the Post, the next of kin haven’t seen a penny since the verdict in 2015.

He owns a home on Staten Island worth $1 million, a $300,000 home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with a $500,000 airplane, the Post previously reported. In addition to the damages, Lomma reportedly owes $7.8 million to a business parter, $3 million to an aviation finance company, plus $300,000 in back taxes.

In October, a judge rejected Lomma’s contractor license renewal application, citing his “poor moral character.” In December, he was accused of moving assets to his daughter’s company to avoid paying the families of victims. [NYP]James Kleimann

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