A coalition of general contractor companies is among the nearly two dozen groups urging a New York Supreme Court judge to give a construction company owner the maximum sentence for a worker’s death.
Harco Construction, owned by Keith Hart, was found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment last month in the trench-collapse death of 22-year-old Carlos Moncayo.
Public perception a problem
"BTEA contractors are sick and tired of contractors like Harco defining the public perception of how serious and important public and worker safety is to them and the way they manage the thousands of construction projects they are responsible for in New York City," wrote Louis J. Coletti, president and CEO of Building Trade Employers' Association, a coalition of 1,800 union construction managers, general and specialty trade contractors based in New York City.
Moncayo, was employed by excavation subcontractor Sky Materials, was buried alive on April 6, 2015 when an unshored 14-foot deep trench caved in.
Prosecutors successfully argued that Harco and Sky were reckless because they ignored warnings from inspectors. Harco had contended that, as a general contractor, it couldn’t control a subcontractor’s work and that Sky Materials was responsible for Moncayo’s death.
In addition to BTEA, news sources say the twenty-two groups who are urging a severe sentence for Hart and Harco include labor unions, academic organizations, and local and national community organizations.
The Manhattan DA wants Harco fined $10,000 for each of the felony charges and $5,000 for the misdemeanor charges, which would amount to a total of $35,000.