The Real Deal New York

The Donald may have reviewed controversial construction contract at Trump Soho

Worker at Sapir-owned property fell 40 stories to his death in 2008
July 27, 2015 04:05PM

Donald Trump may have been more involved in the 2008 death of a construction worker at the Sapir Organization’s Trump Soho hotel than he originally let on.

DiFama Concrete worker Yurly Vanchytsky, 53, fell 42 stories to his death in January 2008 after a form used in concrete pouring at the Trump Soho site at 246 Spring Street gave way.

While DiFama had earned a notorious reputation for job safety violations by the time of the incident, Trump brushed off claims that he was involved in the project and explained that he’d merely licensed his name to the development.

But the Republican presidential hopeful may have been very involved, according to the New York Daily News – and possibly even reviewed DiFama’s contract for the site.

In a deposition taken during one of several lawsuits that came out of the 2008 incident, Jan Sokolowski — Bovis Lend Lease’s general superintendent on the Trump Soho project — testified that Trump and several of his children were personally involved in the hotel’s construction.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and son, Donald Jr., were “involved in the design” of the project and were at the construction site on “at least a monthly basis,” Sokolowski testified.

Alan Garten, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said that while Trump was involved in reviewing the 46-story hotel’s plans, he was “not involved in selection of the contract” and had “no knowledge” of DiFama’s prior safety record.

Los Angeles-based CIM Group took control of the Trump Soho late last year after foreclosing on the original developers, the Sapir Organization and Bayrock Group. [NYDN] — Rey Mashayekhi