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A New York construction contractor was sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine Tuesday after the company was found guilty earlier this year in the crushing death of a 22-year-old worker, according to the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
New York-based Harco Construction L.L.C., also known as H&H Builders Inc., was convicted in June by the New York State Supreme Court of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and reckless endangerment, according to a joint statement Tuesday from New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and New York Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters.
The conviction was based on the death of Carlos Moncayo, a 22-year-old Harco Construction worker who was fatally crushed after an unsecured trench collapsed at a Manhattan construction site, according to a statement. The district attorney’s office said Mr. Moncayo’s death was caused by “illegal construction and repeatedly ignored grievous warnings about the unsafe conditions” created by Harco Construction and a subcontractor.
“The landmark conviction of Harco Construction established for the first time, during a period of unprecedented development throughout New York City, that a company can be held criminally responsible for the death of a worker at its site,” the statement said.
The fine issued to Harco is the maximum penalty for any company convicted of a felony in New York. However, the district attorney's office called the $10,000 fine "Monopoly money" for firms such as Harco Construction and said it would urge the New York state legislature to "raise the maximum penalty for corporate conduct leading to death or serious physical injury" when the legislature reconvenes in January.
The district attorney's office announced earlier this month that Wilmer Cueva, 51, had been sentenced to serve one to three years in state prison for his role in Mr. Moncayo's death. Mr. Cueva, who managed the Harco Construction site where Mr. Moncayo died, was convicted in November of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued $124,709 in fines to a Seattle-based cargo handling company for willful safety violations after a worker's fatal fall, the agency said Tuesday.