The Real Deal New York

Estate of East Village blast victim files wrongful death lawsuit

Nicholas Figueroa, 23, died in March 2015 explosion
By Dusica Sue Malesevic | April 18, 2016 02:20PM


From left: Nicholas Figueroa and the scene at the March 2015 explosion (credit: Claire Moses / The Real Deal)

UPDATED: April 18 4:09 p.m.: The estate of Nicholas Figueroa, who died last year in an explosion that rocked the East Village, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the building’s owner, a contractor and the city, according to documents filed last week in New York State Supreme Court.

On March 26, 2015, Figueroa, 23, was paying his tab at the now-shuttered Japanese restaurant Sushi Park when a gas line caused a blast at the 8,500-square-foot building at 121 Second Avenue Near East 7th Street. Moises Locon, 27, a busboy who was working at the restaurant, also died.

The estate is suing the building’s owner, Maria Hrynenko and her son Michael, as well as the restaurant, contractors and plumbers who worked on the allegedly illegally-installed gas line, Con Edison, the city, Neighborhood Construction Corporation, Beta Plumbing & Heating and others.

S. Joseph Donahue, the lawyer representing Ana Lanza, Figueroa’s mother who is the administrator of his estate, told The Real Deal it’s a difficult time for the family, and the amount of damages sought has not yet been set.

Hrynenko, her son, general contractor Dilber Kukic, and two plumbers were arrested in February. Hrynenko faces a slew of charges, including manslaughter in the second degree, according to news reports.

Twenty-five people were injured and three buildings were destroyed in the explosion. Last month, one of the owners put his vacant lot on the market for $9.7 million.

Updated: This post was updated with information from lawyer S. Joseph Donahue.