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Hard Rock developer sues its contractors on fatal collapse’s 1-year anniversary

The company that owns and developed the ill-fated Hard Rock Hotel sued 19 of its construction contractors and subcontractors and 21 insurance companies seeking damages exactly one year after the 18-story building collapsed, killing three workers.

Hard Rock still stands a year after collapse killed 3

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The 68-page lawsuit was filed Oct. 12, 2020, exactly a year after the upper floors of the Hard Rock collapsed, killing three workers, injuring dozens and causing a hazard that loomed over the city through an especially active hurricane season. 

The ownership group, 1031 Canal Development, is led by Mohan Kailas, but the company’s spokesmen have stated that the principals of two of the project’s main contractors — Denzell Clark, owner of general contractor Citadel Builders and Todd Trosclair, owner of electrical contractor All-Star Electric — also owned a share of 1031.

But 1031 places the blame for the collapse squarely on Citadel, All-Star, engineer of record Heaslip Engineering, architect Harry Baker Smith and 15 other subcontractors. Because of 1031’s contract with Citadel to build the hotel, it also sued the insurance providers of each contractor and subcontractor.

RELATED: Metal used to hold concrete floors at Hard Rock Hotel different from what city approved, records show

The lawsuit takes particularly pointed aim at Heaslip, which was cited for several key violations by U.S. Occupational and Safety Health Administration investigators.

“Heaslip’s engineering design services were inadequate for the 18-story building, and flaws in the engineering design provided by Heaslip affected the structural integrity of the Building during construction and contributed to the collapse,” 1031 alleges in the lawsuit, filed late Monday in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The allegations start with Heaslip allegedly failing to design the proper support beams and columns or calculate the proper loads each floor

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