Wrongful-death trial opens in NYC crane collapse

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City construction crane owner who was acquitted of manslaughter in a collapse that killed two workers has gone on trial again in a civil wrongful death case.

Lawyers for the slain workers' families gave opening statements Friday. They're suing crane owner James Lomma (LOH'-mah), his company and others involved in a Manhattan high-rise construction site where a crane snapped apart in May 2008.

Defense openings are due Tuesday.

The collapse killed crane operator Donald C. Leo and sewer company worker Ramadan Kurtaj. Their lawyers say Lomma allowed a shoddy repair that failed and sparked the collapse.

Prosecutors made, and jurors rejected, a similar argument in Lomma's 2012 criminal trial.

There, Lomma's lawyers said he got the repair done responsibly and other factors caused the collapse.