The only person criminally prosecuted for the deadly collapse of a 200-ft tower crane in Manhattan was acquitted last week of all charges, but New York City’s sweeping safety reforms following the accident remain in place. Photo By Hermann/ny Daily News Rigger accused of mansalughter is free, but questions about crane collapse continue. New York Supreme Court Judge Roger Hayes’ tersely worded verdict declared master rigger William Rapetti not guilty on a multitude of charges, including manslaughter and negligent homicide for his role in the collapse that killed seven and injured dozens more. But several regulations imposed by the city’s
The Justice Dept. has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar Arizona's new immigration law from taking effect, contending that the state statute is unconstitutional and will "undermine" federal immigration enforcement. Related Links: Arizona's Immigration Law Troubles State's Contractors Justice Dept. Complaint Statement by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) Statement by Arizona Senators McCain (R) and Kyl (R) At issue is Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed into law on April 23. The measure, which is to take effect on July 29, directs police, while stopping an individual, to try to determine that person's immigration status when
The second major eminent domain decision in 13 months for the New York State Court of Appeals has Columbia University poised to move ahead on its $6.3-billion expansion in Harlem in upper Manhattan. Image: Columbia University In A recent court decision clears Columbia University to move forward on its planned 17-acre expansion, the southwestern corner of which is shown in the above rendering. In a unanimous decision, a panel of judges in Albany, N.Y., overturned an earlier ruling that prevented the state from seizing by eminent domain a small amount of property currently home to private businesses. Columbia already owned
The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority on May 25 filed a countersuit at the Hillsborough County Circuit Court in Tampa, Fla., against locally based PCL Civil Contractors Inc. PCL, which built and rebuilt reversible lanes on the Selmon Crosstown Expressway, filed suit April 1 againist the agency. It seeks $21 million that it claims it is owed and alleges breach of contract. In the countersuit, the authority contends that PCL owes a refund of $6 million. According to Authority General Counsel Patrick Maguire, five items were paid either as a result of fraud, misrepresentation or deliberate overbilling.
Arizona officials have enacted new “prompt pay” rules to keep cash flowing to struggling contractors, caught by banks and developers that have been withholding project payments in tough times. Gov. Janice K. Brewer (R) on May 11 signed into law a bill establishing retainage and final-payment timetables for properly completed construction work. Failure to comply results in penalties of 1.5% monthly interest charges. “Retention issues should be dealt with immediately and not be dragged out for cash-flow purposes, ” says Michael F. Markham Sr., president of Markham Contracting Co. Inc., Phoenix. “The banks have been a problem with this. They
Four New York State trade associations representing heavy-construction contractors are suing the state over Gov. David Paterson’s announcement in March that the New York Dept. of Transportation would halt payments on all capital construction projects not funded by federal stimulus dollars. Photo: NYSDOT Governor’s attempt to pressure lawmakers to settle budget triggers lawsuit from contractors, who demand pay for work.l The suit, filed on April 16 in state Supreme Court, alleges the state has violated construction contracts with hundreds of contractors on highway and bridge jobs by requiring them either to continue working without payment or to stop altogether. The
CityCenter, the country’s largest private development, is being sued by Perini Building Co., a unit of Tutor Perini Corp., Sylmar, Calif., over work disputes on the $8.5-billion, 18 million-sq-ft Las Vegas Strip complex of hotels, homes and entertainment. On March 25, Perini filed a lawsuit in Clark County Eighth Judicial District Court against several entities controlled by property owners—MGM Mirage Inc. and Infinity World Development Corp., both units of Dubai World, the investment arm of the Persian Gulf state—seeking $490 million for unpaid construction work on the hotel-casino. The 13-page complaint says the construction contract grew from $3.5 billion to
URS Corp., San Francisco, has settled a lawsuit by the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation on all claims by the state over the collapse of the I-35 bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis on Aug. 1, 2007. The settlement was for a reported $5 million. URS was hired by the state to inspect and recommend action on state bridges, including the I-35 bridge. The company denies any wrongdoing or fault in the matter and says the settlement lets it “avoid the cost and time of further litigation with the State.” It points out that the National Transportation Safety Board concluded
Forest City Ratner Cos., developer of a controversial arena in Brooklyn, N.Y., finally broke ground on the project after years of delay, legal battles by residents fighting New York City’s use of eminent domain, a change of architect—from Frank Gehry to Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects—and two redesigns. The Barclays Center complex is planned as the future home of the National Basketball Association’s New Jersey Nets and as the centerpiece of a planned 22-acre sports village, which includes office buildings and housing. Site work has been under way since last fall, with construction set for completion in 2012.
In a move observers say could have big implications for U.S. climate-change policy, five large electric utilities said on March 16 that they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court ruling that subjects them to lawsuits claiming that their carbon-dioxide emissions cause health problems, coastal erosion and other climate-change impacts. The utilities—American Electric Power, Southern Co., Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy and Cinergy, a unit of Duke Energy—said in court papers obtained by Platt’s (like ENR, a unit of the McGrawHill Cos.) that the high court should hear their case because it presents “substantial constitutional and jurisprudential