James Lomma, who faced multiple counts of negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the deadly 2008 tower crane collapse, was cleared of all charges on April 26. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Daniel Conviser delivered the verdict in a case that began in February and garnered national attention.

Lomma, who owns New York Crane & Equipment Corp., Brooklyn, and transport services firm J.F. Lomma Inc., South Kearny, N.J., faced 15 years in prison if convicted. He was charged in connection with the deaths of Donald Leo, a members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 14-14B,and Ramadan Kurtag, a sewer worker.

Following the judge’s verdict, New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. released a statement saying he is “disappointed with the judge’s verdict, each case we have brought in this area has put increased scrutiny on the construction industry as a whole and has had a cascading effect on safety practices.” He said the tragic deaths in this case “showed the serious and fatal consequences that can result when profit is put ahead of safety.”

Photo by Richard Korman
Donald Leo's mother, Maria Leo (right) is questioned by reporters. An attorney for the Leo family, Bernadette Panzella (left) stands close by.

(This article was changed on April 26 to reflect that Ramadan Kurtag, a victim in the accident, was a sewer worker.)