New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced that the city has filed suit against the property developers who were overseeing the construction of a Hard Rock hotel that collapsed last year and killed three workers, reports ABC News.
The collapse occurred Oct. 12, 2019 in the city's historic French Quarter. It took about 10 months to recover two of the victims' bodies because the damage was extensive.
"We will continue to hold the building's ownership accountable and stand with our families to seek justice. This lawsuit is a step towards doing just that," Cantrell said in a statement.
The developers, 1031 Canal, were one of a handful of defendants named in the suit. The company's contractors were also named, including Heaslip Engineering LLC, which was fined by OSHA after the collapse.
New Orleans City Attorney Sunni LeBeouf said that the city preferred not to engage in litigation, but did so "only because the property owners have failed to right the wrongs they have caused."
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.