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Posts Tagged ‘crane collapse’

  • Azure crane collapse

    In testimony today in the manslaughter trial of James Lomma, owner of the crane that collapsed in May 2008 during construction of the Azure, deceased construction worker Donald Leo Jr.’s father took the stand, the New York Daily News reported.

    Leo held back tears as he recounted his trip uptown to see his son after he was told about the accident, at 333 East 91st Street, at First Avenue, which killed two people. [more]

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  • 303 East 51st Street

    The documents detailing the wrongful death settlements in the 2008 East 51st Street crane collapse that harmed 31 people have been ordered unsealed by a Manhattan judge, the New York Law Journal reported. The defendants appealed the decision yesterday, The Real Deal has learned.

    Justice Carol Edmead said that there was no justification for withholding the settlement amounts from the public now that all seven Labor Law wrongful death cases have been settled. Edmead had temporarily sealed the documents after one of the trials so that previous judgments wouldn’t impact the ones pending. [more]

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  • Pre-trial proceedings in the 2008 Upper East Side crane collapse manslaughter case will be held in open court, the judge has decided, according to the New York Post.

    Concerns from prosecutors and victims’ families convinced Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel Conviser to make hearing, crane company owner James Lomma’s hearing, on second-degree manslaughter charges, public, the Post said. The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m. The collapse at the Azure, at 333 East 91st Street, at First Avenue, involved a crane owned by Lomma’s company, New York Crane and Equipment Corporation.
    [more]

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  • There is only one wrongful-death lawsuit related to the 2008 Turtle Bay crane collapse left unsettled, the New York Post reported. Families of the six other victims settled secretly out of court with the city, crane operator Rapetti Rigging Services, Kennely Development Company and building contractors.

    The only outstanding suit is from the family of Santino Gallone, a Rappeti crew member who died in the accident. The case will go before the Manhattan Supreme Court Sept. 12.

    There are still however about 43 lawsuits totaling $500 million related to the incident pending from people injured as well as property and business owners, the Post said…. [more]

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  • Though he was cleared of manslaughter charges last year, William Rapetti received a punishment for his part in the crane collapse in Midtown in 2008 that killed seven people. A judge today found that the rigger’s sloppy crane work was to blame for the collapse, and recommended his license be revoked, the New York Post reported. Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri has adhered to that recommendation, making Rapetti unable to operate or oversee any cranes in the city.

    “We have determined that Mr. Rapetti took shortcuts while erecting the tower crane by using damaged equipment and failing to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions,” LiMandri said. “Those shortcuts sacrificed the safety of the job site and led to horrific consequences.”… [more]

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  • Arbor Realty Funding, the lender at the site of a fatal 2008 crane collapse in Turtle Bay, has filed a $69 million malpractice suit against Herrick Feinstein, alleging the law firm provided bad advice about the zoning regulations for the planned 42-story tower. Manhattan-based Arbor provided $70 million in short-term bridge loans to help developer Jim Kennelly convert the several parcels at 303 East 51st Street into a luxury condominium, but a crane collapsed onto a residential building across the street, killing seven people, causing millions of dollars in structural damage and criminal convictions. … [more]

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  • alternate text
    From left: Crane owner James Lomma and the Azure at 333 East 91st Street

    The owner of the crane company implicated in the deadly 2008 collapse at the Upper East Side’s Azure is suing the construction company that had rented his crane for $1.1 million in damages, the Post reported. The owner, James Lomma, is currently awaiting trial on manslaughter charges after a judge turned down his bid to get the case dismissed last month. He and mechanic Tibor Varganyi were accused of arranging for a cheap welding job on the 200-foot-tall crane, which failed after a month of use…. [more]

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  • Crane collapse nabe struggling to rebound

    February 21, 2011 08:37AM

    Developer Ziel Feldman may have stepped in last year to buy the note on the stalled Turtle Bay construction site at 303 East 51st Street, where a 2008 crane collapse killed seven people, but the immediate surrounding neighborhood is looking like it needs its own cash infusion in the aftermath of the tragedy. According to the Post, nine businesses around the site — near Second Avenue, between 50th and 51st streets — have become “ghostly museums” as a result of the crash. City Council member Jessica Lappin, who lives in the area, called the retail strip “moribund” and “just depressing.” Meanwhile, the construction site at the center of it all hasn’t been a source of much optimism, either. … [more]

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  • A judge has upheld manslaughter charges against an owner and a mechanic in connection with a rig collapse at a construction site that killed two workers on the Upper East Side in May 2008, CBS reported. The judge today turned down the defendants’ bid to get the case dismissed and the case is now headed for a trial this spring or summer. Prosecutors said owner James Lomma and mechanic Tibor Varganyi arranged for a cheap welding job on a 200-foot-tall crane at the site of the Azure cond-op at 333 East 91st Street…. [more]

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  • $145M in new financing for Azure

    October 14, 2010 11:30AM


    Elliman’s Ilan Bracha is marketing the Azure.

    HSBC and four other institutions have agreed to convert their $145 million construction loan into a shareholder loan at the Azure, at 333 East 91st Street, a 34-story residential tower which was the site of a fatal crane collapse in 2008. The developers of the Azure, the Mattone Group and the Dematteis Organization, said yesterday that their financing is intact and they are on track to sell the 93 apartments left at the 128-unit building, Crain’s reported. The new shareholder loan will allow the building to continue to operate while the developers sell units. As each unit is sold, the loan is paid down. “A year ago this would have been difficult to achieve,” said Douglas MacLaury, senior vice president at the Mattone Group. “This indicates that credit is beginning to flow back into real estate and is a testimony to the confidence lenders have in the building.” Ilan Bracha’s the Bracha Group at Prudential Douglas Elliman is handling marketing, after replacing Brown Harris Stevens. So far, seven units have closed and nine are scheduled to close shortly. An additional 19 units are under contract. [Crain's]

    [more]

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  • Michael Sackaris, the de facto owner of Nu-Way Crane company, has been sentenced to two to six years in state prison for bribing the chief crane inspector for the Department of Buildings numerous times. Sackaris, who pleaded guilty in May to bribery charges, gave cash payments to DOB inspector James Delayo, ranging from $200 to $500 on 20 separate occasions beginning in 2000, according to the Manhattan district attorney. Delayo, who also pleaded guilty, offered phony crane operator licenses to Sackaris’ employees. The former inspector was sentenced to two years behind bars in June. The case against Sackaris stemmed from an investigation after two deadly crane collapses in Manhattan, at the Azure condominium construction site at 333 East 91st Street and at 303 East 51st Street, both in 2008. TRD

    [more]

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  • Michael Sackaris, the de facto owner of Nu-Way Crane company, has been sentenced to two to six years in state prison for bribing the chief crane inspector for the Department of Buildings numerous times. Sackaris, who pleaded guilty in May to bribery charges, gave cash payments to DOB inspector James Delayo, ranging from $200 to $500 on 20 separate occasions beginning in 2000, according to the Manhattan district attorney. Delayo, who also pleaded guilty, offered phony crane operator licenses to Sackaris’ employees. The former inspector was sentenced to two years behind bars in June. The case against Sackaris stemmed from an investigation after two deadly crane collapses in Manhattan, at the Azure condominium construction site at 333 East 91st Street and at 303 East 51st Street, both in 2008. TRD

    [more]

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  • From left, William Rapetti, Scott Stringer and Cyrus Vance. 

    Crane rigger William Rapetti was acquitted
    today of manslaughter charges in the 2008 Midtown crane collapse that
    killed six construction workers and a tourist at 303 East 51st Street,
    at Second Avenue. Prosecutors said Rapetti did an efficient job
    of securing the nearly 200-foot crane as it was being extended upward,
    while Rapetti’s lawyer maintained that he worked carefully,
    but that the crane was unsteady because of engineering equipment that
    wasn’t Rapetti’s responsibility. City officials expressed
    disappointment following the decision. “While we respect
    the criminal justice process, we are extremely disappointed by the
    court’s verdict,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, in
    a statement. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had harsh
    words for the Department of Buildings, blaming the DOB for faulty
    inspection procedures. “Questions about the innocence or guilt of this
    particular rigger miss the larger point that still lingers some 28
    months after the tragic crane collapse,” he said in a statement. “Any
    questionable straps, beams, collars or other crane parts should have
    been caught through the use of aggressive inspection protocols by the
    Department of Buildings.” TRD

    [more]

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  • Proceedings concluded yesterday in the deadly crane collapse case that led to seven deaths at a Midtown construction site on March 15, 2008,
    according to the New York Times. William Rapetti, the rigging
    contractor at the site at 303 East 51st Street near Second Avenue, had
    been formally charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide
    and reckless endangerment in January 2009. In the closing proceedings
    yesterday afternoon, Deborah Hickey, an assistant district attorney,
    said that Rapetti showed disregard for safety when he failed to replace
    a worn out sling, which ultimately snapped, likely leading to the
    crane collapse. “All of it began with this sling,” Hickey said, “and
    the 67 seconds it would have taken the defendant to look at it that day
    and throw it away”. If found guilty on all charges, Rapetti faces 28
    years behind bars. Justice Roger Hayes said he plans to announce a
    verdict on Thursday. [NYT]

    [more]

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  • alternate textThe old Crave Ceviche

    When a collapsing crane crushed his newly renovated restaurant in March 2008, “it wa… [more]

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  • As expected, Michael Sackaris and his company Nu-Way Crane Service pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. And a company employee, Michael Pascalli, pleaded guilty to a charge of offering a false instrument for filing, in connection with the bribing of a Department of Buildings official. The arrests stemmed from an investigation following the deaths of nine people at two crane collapse sites, the Azure at 333 East 91st Street and 303 East 51st Street. Sackaris paid James Delayo, the acting chief inspector for cranes and derricks at DOB, to complete and file false paperwork with the agency on about 20 occasions, indicating that Nu-Way had passed city inspections, when in fact the cranes had not been inspected at all, or only in a perfunctory way, the DA’s office said. On six other occasions, the DA’s office said, Sackaris paid Delayoto certify that Nu-Way employees, including Pascalli, seeking crane operator licenses passed their examinations. Delayo pleaded guilty in March on bribery charges. The three defendants will be sentenced July 13. TRD

    [more]

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  • The city has failed to provide the families of two construction workers who died in the 2008 crane collapse at the Upper East Side’s Azure Condominium at 333 East 91st Street on the corner of First Avenue with documents, e-mails and other information about equipment inspections, a State Supreme Court judge said yesterday. The families had filed a lawsuit against the crane company, the company’s owner, the Department of Buildings and others in connection with the case, and had tried to obtain copies of communications regarding the crane from the DOB and to prevent the city from conducting tests on the collapsed crane while they were not present. In yesterday’s ruling, the court issued the Bloomberg administration a $5,000 fine — $2,500 to each family — for “flagrant disregard” of court orders to provide the documents and to notify the families of crane tests in advance. Last month, crane company owner James Lomma was indicted for manslaughter for allegedly allowing the crane to operate with a broken turntable that led to the accident. [NYT]

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  • A 20-plus-story construction crane “teetered” and struck the corner of a Lower Manhattan commercial building, according to NBC. Long Island City-based Bay Crane erected the crane at 80 Maiden Lane, the old Fire Companies Building, this morning. There were no injuries when the crane crashed into the building around 7 p.m., “but rattled nerves,” NBC said, and two buildings were
    evacuated. The police and fire departments as well as the Department of Buildings are trying to determine the cause of the collapse. As of 11 p.m., there were more than 135 firefighters still on the scene, NBC reported. TRD[more]

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  • Renderings from the Trump Soho hotel

    The controversial Trump Soho has scheduled its first round of unit closings by mid-April, not long after it officially opens April 9, The Real Deal has learned. The high-rise condo-hotel has been delayed due to years of legal wrangling with community opponents that have challenged the property’s zoning, a fatal 2008 crane collapse at the site and a weak credit environment that slowed financing. “Trump Soho, the first downtown property for the Trump Hotel Collection, is opening April 9, 2010,” according to an e-mailed statement from the developer. “The closings will begin after the hotel opens.” The 46-story property at 246 Spring Street, at the corner of Varick Street, broke ground in 2007 and was previously scheduled to open in the fall of 2009, then on Feb. 1, 2010…. [more]

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  • Two corporations, their top executive, and a mechanic have been indicted in the May 30, 2008 91st Street crane collapse incident, which resulted in two deaths and one serious injury. The Manhattan District Attorney has charged New York Crane, J.F. Lomma and owner James Lomma, along with Tibor Varganyi, a former mechanic for New York Crane, with criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter, among other related charges. The defendants were described as “reckless” by District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who said that their alleged negligence at the 333 East 91st Street construction site, the Azure condominium, where Prudential Douglas Elliman agent Ilan Bracha recently took over sales, led directly to the tragic deaths of two construction workers. “We cannot allow individuals and firms to conduct themselves in gross violation of applicable regulations and industry standards,” Vance. “Today’s indictment is an important step not only in holding these defendants accountable for their conduct, but should send a message to the construction industry that profit cannot be put ahead of safety.” Sales launched at the 333 East 91st Street tower more than two years ago, and Bracha told The Real Deal recently that just nine units are currently in contract. At the time of the collapse, 17 contracts had been signed. Sales resumed two weeks later, though whether there was a connection between the decrease in signed contracts and the construction delays that resulted from the accident, is unclear. TRD[more]

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