New Orleans sues Hard Rock Hotel developers over fatal collapse
The brother of one of the construction workers who died told ABC News that his family was losing patience with the recovery process about 10 months after the collapse, when his brother’s remains still were buried inside, according to ABC News.
“We’re tired of being patient,” Frank Wimberly, the brother of Quinnyon Wimberly, said. He noted that the date of the remains recovery was set for July 1, but by the end of the month it still hadn’t occurred.
On Aug. 8, Wimberly’s remains finally were removed. Officials previously said it was not safe for workers to enter the building to remove the bodies. The body of the third victim, Jose Ponce Arreola, was removed shortly thereafter. The other victim, Anthony Magrette, was removed shortly after the collapse.
OSHA cited the “willful” and “serious” violations of Heaslip Engineering LLC as the main reasons for the building’s collapse, according to documents filed by the federal agency. 1031 Canal was not cited in the OSHA complaint.
The alleged violations include workers being exposed to falling materials and building collapse, a lack of a health and safety program, and design flaws that affected the structural integrity of the building, according to OSHA. Heaslip Engineering LLC was fined $154,214.
James Heaslip, founder of the company, which was the principal engineer on the Hard Rock project, did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
An attorney for the company told NOLA.com that OSHA’s conclusions were “unwarranted.”
“We believe OSHA’s conclusions are unwarranted, not supported by the facts and beyond the jurisdiction of OSHA’s statutory authority,” Kelly Theard, an attorney at DeutschKerrigan LLC, told NOLA.com. “Heaslip unequivocally denies any ‘willful’ or ‘serious’ wrongdoing, and will vigorously contest all of the citations through the procedures required by OSHA.”
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