Manhattan prosecutors this week characterized the owner of a crane company as a greedy executive whose desire to save money led to a catastrophic crane collapse that killed two construction workers and seriously injured another, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported. The trial of New York Crane & Equipment Corp., J.F. Lomma Inc., and James Lomma, began this week. Lomma and his companies are charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Prosecutors charge that a bearing that fits into the crane’s turntable was faulty and that the company had ample opportunity to make sure the piece was sturdy. Defense attorneys contend that the city’s investigation focused on the bearing, while ignoring forensic evidence that user error caused the accident, claiming the crane was improperly used and overloaded. The attorneys contend the bearing failure was a symptom of the cause.