Crane operator Donald Leo plummeted 200 feet to his death and Ramadan Kurtaj was crushed after a crane with a purportedly shoddy repair job fell at an Upper East Side job site. James Lomma, owner of New York Crane and Equipment, in 2012 was found not guilty in criminal court â€” and was a no-show Friday in civil court.
Two hardhats died because Manhattan crane czar James Lomma okayed a quick fix for one of his rigs rather than stop a construction job, lawyers for the victims charged Friday at the opening of their civil trial
â€œCranes do not fall down, cranes are not supposed to fall from the sky,â€ said Bernadette Panzella, who is representing the family of doomed crane operator Donald Leo.
“This is a very, very simple case,â€ she said. â€œThat crane was not supposed to fall from the sky and kill Donald Christopher Leo, three weeks before his wedding.â€
Leo, who was 30, had his entire life ahead of him, Panzella said.
â€œJames F. Lomma didn’t do what he was he was supposed to do,â€ the lawyer said. â€œIt’s not that he didn’t do one thing, he didn’t do anything.”
Panzella noted the presence of Leoâ€™s grieving family and the fact that the kin of the second victim, Ramadan Kurtaj, had flown in from Kosovo to be at the trial.
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