The acquittal of crane owner James F. Lomma on criminal charges related to a 2008 crane collapse in New York City leaves the public's opinion of crane safety in the cramped, complicated city very much in doubt. Some owners and contractors have not shown they are capable of operating cranes safely without serious accident for a sustained period of time. The extreme density of Manhattan requires extra precautions.
So far, neither criminal prosecutions nor financial liability by the crane owners and operators has been enough to make a difference. To fix the problem, several different remedies should be tried simultaneously.