Another Wealthy Executive Seeks To Dodge Prison

Another collapse in Manhattan. Photo by NY Daily News.

Another collapse in Manhattan. Photo by NY Daily News.

We’re all still feeling, four years later, the 2008 Wall Street crash that tanked the financial industry — and our economy. But an even deadlier 2008 crash in Manhattan has largely faded into obscurity. Last week, in a New York courtroom, memories of that forgotten tragedy edged back onto the public stage.

This particular stage would be the manslaughter trial of multi-millionaire James Lomma, the owner of New York’s largest construction crane company. In May 2008, one of Lomma’s giant cranes crashed down on New York’s Upper East Side, killing two construction workers.

These two men died, an assistant D.A. told a packed courtroom Tuesday, “because a wealthy man” cared about “the bottom line and nothing else.” The crashed crane, the D.A. noted, had suffered damage the year before. Lomma, the prosecutor charged, had refused to wait for a qualified repair firm. He cut corners instead to rush the damaged crane back into service.

Lomma may beat this rap. Cases against big cheeses remain devilishly difficult to bring to trial, let alone win, one reason why no high-finance chief exec has yet gone to jail for the frauds behind Wall Street’s epic 2008 crash. But you don’t have to be a Wall Streeter in America today to dodge accountability. We have more, on that score, in this week’s Too Much.

Each and every week, Too Much explores excess and inequality, in the United States and throughout the world. Subscriptions are free and you can sign up here.