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Crane-Failure Case Heading To Court

Publication Date: 3/10/2010
Author: Tudor Van Hampton
Format: HTML

The criminal prosecution of James F. Lomma, a prominent crane owner with offices in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, swivels on the failure of a Chinese rotator gear, the hold-down welding of which catastrophically snapped in May 2008, sending steel debris raining onto the streets of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The event killed two construction workers. In an earlier Lomma crane collapse in midtown Manhattan in March 2008, seven people died; a rigging company was indicted for manslaugheter in that case. The charges also fire a warning shot over the boardrooms of construction firms across America: Equipment owners may be held personally liable—even if safety regulators in their official investigation are unable to find code violations.

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