The Real Deal New York

Crane operator in fatal collapse files defamation suit against investigators

City probe of 2016 accident found Kevin Reilly responsible
December 13, 2017 11:00AM

The collapsed crane on Worth Street in Tribeca (credit: FDNY)

The collapsed crane on Worth Street in Tribeca (credit: FDNY)

The crane operator whom investigators found responsible for a fatal collapse in 2016 is fighting back and suing for defamation.

Multiple probes into the March 2016 crane collapse on Worth Street that killed mathematician David Wichs and injured three others found crane operator Kevin Reilly responsible for the accident, but Reilly himself is now insisting he was not the root cause, according to the New York Post.

Independent company Crane Tech Solutions conducted a probe that found Reilly responsible, and a Department of Buildings investigation also concluded that Reilly was supposed to have secured the boom of the crane the night before it collapsed.

However, Reilly’s lawsuit says the probe improperly investigated the true causes of the crane collapse.

The DOB is trying to permanently revoke Reilly’s license and stands by their investigation.

“Our investigation found that Mr. Reilly acted recklessly, with tragic results,” a spokesperson told the Post. “We suspended his crane operator’s license last year, an action that remains in effect today.” [NYP] – Eddie Small