New York Crane Accident Lawsuit Delayed by Sudden Mistrial
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New York Crane Accident Lawsuit Delayed by Sudden Mistrial

New York Crane Accident Lawsuit Delayed by Sudden MistrialAfter years of waiting for justice to be done in a New York crane accident lawsuit, two families have been asked to wait once more as the judge declared a mistrial in their wrongful death civil suit against the owner of a New York crane company, who they blame for the death of two construction workers.

Six years to the day of the tragic 2008 collapse of a crane on an Upper East Side construction site that caused the crane cab to fall 200 feet killing crane operator, Donald Leo, and construction worker, Ramadan Kurtaj, the judge said that he had no choice but to stop the trial because the defendant was severely injured in a car wreck and could not act as a key witness in his own behalf. James Lomma, owner of New York Crane and Equipment, who suffered multiple fractures and has had several surgeries as a result of the wreck, is not expected to be able to testify for two to three months in the NY crane accident lawsuit.

After seeing the police report of the accident and speaking with the defendant’s surgeon, Dr. David Helfet at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez postponed the trial until at least September 9 when a new jury will be selected. Attorneys arguing on behalf of the workers’ families pushed to continue the trial but Judge Mendez said, “It is only fair to allow Mr. Lomma to be present at trial” and that Lomma had been “incapacitated through no acts of his own.”

The mistrial comes as a painful echo of their devastation two years ago in 2012 when Lomma was acquitted on all criminal charges including manslaughter for the same crane accident, even after his trusted mechanic pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and testified against him.

NY construction accident lawyers protect workers’ rights to safe conditions

Following a number of crane accidents that have killed and hurt other construction workers, the New York City inspection process has come under increased criticism and scrutiny. Local union officials are fighting the city’s bid to require crane operators to meet national licensing standards, arguing that operating a crane in New York requires even more specialized skills. As of 2012, there were just eight crane inspectors to keep tabs on the 27 rigs operating on construction sites across the city.

Every day, our city’s construction workers risk their lives working on heavy machinery and equipment in perilous situations, both in the air and underground. Dozens of men and women suffer life-threatening injuries in construction accidents each year, placing tremendous financial and emotional strain on their families. Many of those accidents could have been prevented had the appropriate safety measures been taken by contractors and owners to protect their workers from danger.

The Sanders Firm can help

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed, we invite you to consult with our NY construction accident attorneys for a free and confidential case evaluation.  Through the years, The Sanders Firm has built a vast network of engineering experts, medical experts, and other consultants who, along with our talented legal team, work diligently to bring some measure of justice to workers who have sustained serious injuries on the job.

Our veteran team of NY crane accident lawyers will help you outline your best course of action for securing compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other intangible losses. Call toll-free 1.800.FAIR.PLAY any time night or day.


  1. FoxNews.com, Wrongful Death Trial Opens In New York; Owner was Acquitted of Criminal Charges, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/05/24/wrongful-death-trial-opens-in-new-york-crane-collapse-owner-was-acquitted/

  2. CBS Local.com, Judge Declares Mistrial in NYC Crane Collapse Wrongful Death Suit, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/05/30/judge-declares-mistrial-in-nyc-crane-collapse-wrongful-death-lawsuit/

  3. NYDailyNews.com, Judge Clears Crane Magnate James Lomma of Manslaughter in Deaths, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/judge-clears-crane-magnate-joseph-lomma-manslaughter-deaths-article-1.1067912