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

Victims' families will now receive $35M

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

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
Renderings of The Eliza Apartments at the Redeveloped Inwood Library (New York Housing Conference)
Inwood affordable housing project moves forward after rezoning fight
Inwood affordable housing project moves forward after rezoning fight
Demir Sabanci and 41-47 West 57th Street (Sedesco, Google Maps)
Sedesco seeks rezoning for new Billionaires’ Row skyscraper
Sedesco seeks rezoning for new Billionaires’ Row skyscraper
611 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, NY (Getty)
Workforce Housing Group solar deal will also pay for broadband
Workforce Housing Group solar deal will also pay for broadband
Hudson Yards (iStock)
EB-5 program set to expire at the end of June
EB-5 program set to expire at the end of June
From left: Alvin Dworman, 155 East 55th Street, 65 West 55th Street, and 210 East 58th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Alvin Dworman Sells 3 Manhattan Buildings for $65M
Alvin Dworman Sells 3 Manhattan Buildings for $65M
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
New housing construction leaves US 5.5 million units short
New housing construction leaves US 5.5 million units short
Anita Durst and images of Chashama (Photos via Getty, Chashama)
Durst-backed nonprofit puts startups into empty storefronts
Durst-backed nonprofit puts startups into empty storefronts
Berkshire Bank headquarters in 4 East 39th Street (Google Maps)
Major FiDi landlord resigns as bank chairman after stock windfall
Major FiDi landlord resigns as bank chairman after stock windfall
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...