Wrongful death trial opens in NYC crane collapse

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Associated Press

Posted on May 25, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Updated Sunday, May 25 at 6:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A construction crane owner who was acquitted of manslaughter in a collapse that killed two workers is now facing a civil wrongful death trial.

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.

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