NEW YORK, NY – The owner of a building that was badly damaged in a deadly crane collapse has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the crane owner, contractor and others working on a new 32-story apartment tower across the street.
The company, First & 91 LLC, says in court papers filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court that it lost tenants and rent revenue, faces additional costs including repairs, and will suffer because the Upper East Side building has been "stigmatized."
The lawsuit names crane owner New York Crane & Equipment, crane lessee Sorbara Construction, general contractor Leon D. Dematteis Construction and the owner of the building under construction, 1765 First Associates LLC.
The contractor declined to comment and other defendants did not immediately return calls.
The crane operator and another worker died when the 200-foot crane collapsed and smashed into an apartment building at East 91st Street at First Avenue. The May 30 accident occurred 40 blocks north of the site where another crane collapse killed seven people on March 15.
The plaintiffs contend the crane in the second collapse was "improperly and hazardously welded" and that that was concealed from the city's Buildings Department.
The investigation into the May 30 collapse has focused on a crane part called the turntable. Investigators say it was taken off another crane with cracks in it more than a year ago, rebuilt and installed about a month before the accident.
The 24-year-old Kodiak crane that was at the 91st Street site is a model that is out of production. Immediately after the collapse the city shut down four other sites that were using Kodiak cranes.
The Buildings Department said Friday that one 24-year-old Kodiak crane — also owned by New York Crane — was being dismantled this weekend after an engineer found two cracks in that crane's turntable.
One of the three other sites where Kodiak cranes were operating was given the O.K. to resume operating. Tests are pending on the other two sites, the city said.