Appeals court cuts $60M off verdict against “King of Cranes”

Victims' families will now receive $35M

TRD New York /
Sep.September 14, 2017 12:16 PM

James Lomma and the site at 33 East 91st Street (Credit: Getty Images)

A Manhattan Appeals Court cut the “King of Cranes” a break on Wednesday, slashing $60 million off of jury awards related to a fatal crane collapse in 2008.

The appellate panel reduced the $95 million judgment against James Lomma to $35 million, finding that the awards were “excessive,” the New York Post reported. A jury had awarded $39.5 million to the family Donald Leo Jr., who fell 240 feet to his death when the bearing on Lomma’s Kodiak crane cracked. The jury gave $55.5 million to the family of Ramadan Kurtaj, who was crushed by the machinery.

Under the appeals court’s ruling, Leo’s family will receive $16 million and Kurtaj’s will get $19 million.

“We hope going forward the construction industry takes heed of this and it will be safety first,” Bernadette Panzella, an attorney for Leo’s mother, told the Post.

An attorney for Kurtaj’s family, Susan Karten, said, “The Court is signifying that it is no longer business as usual and by their decision are providing a significant disincentive to those players in the Industry who place safety last and far below the profit margin.”

An attorney for Lomma, Nathaniel Marmur, said his client “did not receive a fair opportunity at trial to prove that this devastating accident was not [his company’s] fault.” He said that they are “confident that further appellate review will vindicate our position.”

In the 2015 trial, the jury found Lomma 61 percent liable for the fatal accident. Shortly thereafter, Lomma filed for bankruptcy in January 2016.

In March, victims families said Lomma is actually worth $200 million but hasn’t paid out a dime[NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Maison Kayser (Photo via Tools of Men via Flickr)

Maison Kayser may bid New York adieu

Maison Kayser may bid New York adieu
Vishaan Chakrabarti of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and Hiten Samtani of The Real Deal (Getty)

Vishaan Chakrabarti on a Manhattan real estate market without private cars

Vishaan Chakrabarti on a Manhattan real estate market without private cars
Newmark’s Brian Waterman with 7 Hanover Square (Google Maps, Twitter)

Newmark nabs REBNY prize for deal with NYC Health + Hospitals

Newmark nabs REBNY prize for deal with NYC Health + Hospitals
Vishaan Chakrabarti of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and Hiten Samtani of The Real Deal (Getty)

The REInterview: What if Manhattan had four Central Parks’ worth of land to play with?

The REInterview: What if Manhattan had four Central Parks’ worth of land to play with?
The legislation from a City Council member introduced a bill to temporarily repeal the commercial rent tax for businesses during the Covid-19 state of emergency. (Getty, iStock)

Commercial rent tax cut introduced in City Council

Commercial rent tax cut introduced in City Council
Michael Rudder, James Nelson, 141 Wooster Street and 633 Third Avenue (Google Maps)

The Outlook: Industry experts break down Manhattan’s office condo market

The Outlook: Industry experts break down Manhattan’s office condo market
Peter Nicoletti and Colliers' David Amsterdam

Colliers taps JLL’s Peter Nicoletti to lead capital markets

Colliers taps JLL’s Peter Nicoletti to lead capital markets
City Council member Keith Powers (Getty)

Pol, biz groups: Suspend rent tax, extend outdoor dining

Pol, biz groups: Suspend rent tax, extend outdoor dining
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...