City fined for hoarding documents in crane collapse suit

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The city has failed to provide the families of two construction workers who died in the 2008 crane collapse at the Upper East Side’s Azure Condominium at 333 East 91st Street on the corner of First Avenue with documents, e-mails and other information about equipment inspections, a State Supreme Court judge said yesterday. The families had filed a lawsuit against the crane company, the company’s owner, the Department of Buildings and others in connection with the case, and had tried to obtain copies of communications regarding the crane from the DOB and to prevent the city from conducting tests on the collapsed crane while they were not present. In yesterday’s ruling, the court issued the Bloomberg administration a $5,000 fine — $2,500 to each family — for “flagrant disregard” of court orders to provide the documents and to notify the families of crane tests in advance. Last month, crane company owner James Lomma was indicted for manslaughter for allegedly allowing the crane to operate with a broken turntable that led to the accident. [NYT]

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