The Real Deal Los Angeles

Coroner: worker’s fall from Wilshire Grand might have been suicide

Worker had no reason to be on upper floors of the building, Turner Construction says

March 18, 2016 01:00PM

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Wilshire Grand Construction

The Wilshire Grand Center under construction (credit: Hunter Kerhart)

Authorities are investigating whether the electrician who fell to his death from the 53rd floor of the under-construction Wilshire Grand tower in Downtown Los Angeles yesterday committed suicide, the coroner told the New York Post.

The coroner is also investigating whether the fall from the construction site was a workplace accident, said Ed Winter, assistant chief Los Angeles County coroner. However, police and officials for Turner Construction, the main contractor of the building, interviewed workers and said the fall appeared to be a suicide.

The man was identified as Joseph Sabbatino, 36, of Palmdale, Winter said. It was his second day on the job and he had no reason to be on the upper floors, according to a spokesperson for Turner. He had taken off his hard hat and had not been wearing a safety harness because it wasn’t required for the bottom floors, where his work was confined.

An autopsy is pending.

“We have confirmed with (California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health and Los Angeles police) that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site on March 17 was not work-related,” a statement issued by Turner Construction read.

Work was shut down Friday and counselors were available for employees, the statement said. [NYP] – Hannah Miet