(New York, USA) A Manhattan jury delivered a $48 million verdict against self-described “King of Cranes” James Lomma over a 2008 construction accident that killed two workers.
The two-man, four-woman jury awarded over $16 million on Thursday to the family of Staten Island crane operator Donald Leo Jr. who fell 240 feet to his death when the bearing on his Kodiak crane cracked and the heavy machinery collapsed.
The jurors gave over $32 million to the family of Albanian construction worker Ramadan Kurtaj. The Kosovar immigrant saw the crane topple and yelled “run! run!” to his coworkers at the East 91st Street site just before he was crushed by the wreckage.
It took rescue workers 20 minutes to pull him out as he lay “moaning and groaning” according to his closing statements made by his lawyer, Susan Karten.
From the $32 million the jury alloted $24 million for the pain and suffering Kurtaj, 27, endured before he died later that day at the hospital.
The rest included $7.5 million for the construction worker’s emotional distress and over $600,000 to compensate his family members for his future earnings.
Kurtaj’s widow, Selvi Sinanovic, told The Post, “There is no amount of money that can bring him back.”
But, Sinanovic said, “I’m very happy for the closure. I’m very happy for [Kurtaj’s] father who’s been coming back and forth from Kosovo. He can go home now and have some peace of mind.
Uke Kurtaj left the courtroom after the verdict was announced and crumpled onto a bench sobbing.
The civil case, which started over 10 months ago, is the state’s longest-running trial of its kind.
Lomma’s lawyers have already said he will appeal the verdict.