Lendlease disputes city’s penalty in 2018 death at Central Park Tower

Construction company filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn violation

New York /
Jan.January 23, 2020 08:00 AM
Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower

After a glass panel fell from Central Park Tower and fatally crushed a 67-year-old security guard two years ago, the Department of Buildings filed several violations against general contractor Lendlease. Now, after successfully appealing most of the violations, the construction company wants the remaining penalty to also be dismissed.

Lendlease filed a petition against the DOB and the Office of Administration Trials and Hearings Tuesday, alleging that it was wrongfully penalized for “failing to safeguard” 217 West 57th Street on May 26, 2018. On that day, a 2,300-pound plate glass panel fell from the luxury tower and struck security guard Harry Ramnauth. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The construction company argues that OATH wrongfully upheld a violation, along with a $25,000 fine, for failing to safeguard the public from construction activity at Extell Development’s tower. Lendlease claims that as a security guard employed at the building, Ramnauth was not a “member of the public.” The company also alleges that the violation was issued as a result of a follow-up inspection the DOB conducted three days after the incident. The agency, therefore, “had no personal knowledge of the alleged incident or the conditions which existed on the incident date,” according to the petition.

Representatives for the DOB and Lendlease declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Ramnauth’s family agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit against Lendlease, contractor Pinnacle Industries and Extell for $1.25 million, court documents show. The settlement has not yet been approved by a judge. In New York, family members file wrongful death claims to collect damages for the loss of support (including financial) represented by their relative’s death. Additional damages can be awarded under state statute only if it can be proven that the deceased was conscious and suffered before their death, which is extremely difficult to establish. According to court documents, the suggested settlement is a result of the wrongful death claim in the case.

“This was the best result under the circumstances, under our current law,” Matthew Haicken, an attorney for Ramnauth’s family, told The Real Deal.

Extell launched sales at the tower, considered the most expensive in the city’s history at a projected $4 billion sellout, in October 2018.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
L+M Development Partners' Ron Moelis and a rendering of Sendero Verdo (Photos via L+M; Handel Architects)

L+M in deal with union laborers to cut wages on affordable projects

L+M in deal with union laborers to cut wages on affordable projects
Housing starts rose almost 5% last month

Housing starts rose almost 5% last month

Housing starts rose almost 5% last month
(Getty, iStock)

Homebuilder confidence soars to another record high

Homebuilder confidence soars to another record high
(Getty, iStock)

Hard-hit retail, restaurants, construction show big jobs gains in October

Hard-hit retail, restaurants, construction show big jobs gains in October
Ralph Esposito (Twitter)

Lendlease exec jumps ship for Suffolk Construction

Lendlease exec jumps ship for Suffolk Construction
Maria Rioumine and Ryan Gibson (Agora, iStock)

Tishman Speyer, Suffolk back supply-chain startup

Tishman Speyer, Suffolk back supply-chain startup
Homebuilders continue to be responsible for the majority of dollars spent on construction (iStock)

Construction spending up from a year ago

Construction spending up from a year ago
111 West 57th (Photo via FDNY Twitter)

Spinning crane at 111 West 57th Street casts debris on street

Spinning crane at 111 West 57th Street casts debris on street
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...