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On first anniversary of Hard Rock Hotel collapse, developer sues contractors, insurers | Courts

The company that owns the ill-fated Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans filed suit this week against a host of construction contractors, subcontractors and insurance companies over the 2019 building collapse that killed three workers and injured dozens more.

The suit was filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court late Monday, the first anniversary of the collapse of the upper floors of the 18-story building.



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

The development company blames the building’s failure on Citadel, All-Star, Heaslip Engineering, architect Harry Baker Smith and 15 other subcontractors. Because of the company’s contract with Citadel to build the hotel at Canal and North Rampart streets, it also sued the insurance providers of each contractor and subcontractor.

The lawsuit takes particular aim at Heaslip, whom investigators for the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration have cited for several key violations. The development company’s suit asserts that Heaslip failed to design the proper support beams and columns or to calculate the proper loads that each floor could support. It branches out from there to the lead contractor, Citadel, and the various trades subcontractors.

Nearly a year after the top floors of the Hard Rock Hotel collapsed, killing three workers, injuring 18 others and straining city resources, N…

“Just as Heaslip did not run appropriate load calculations and analyses, neither did the general contractor or any subcontractor or supplier,” 1031 Canal alleges.

The owners also blame steel subcontractor Hub Steel for the way it fabricated and installed beams and metal decking on the upper floors. Metal decking was used

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On one-year anniversary of Hard Rock Hotel collapse, developer sues host of contractors | News

The company that owns the ill-fated Hard Rock Hotel filed suit this week against a host of construction contractors, subcontractors and insurance companies for damages related to the collapse of the highrise last October that killed three workers and injured dozens more.

The legal action was filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court late Monday, on the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the upper floors of the 18-story building.

The ownership group, 1031 Canal Development, is led by Mohan Kailas. But company officials have said 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.

1031 Canal places the blame for the building’s failure on Citadel, All-Star, Heaslip Engineering, architect Harry Baker Smith and 15 other subcontractors. Because of the group’s contract with Citadel to build the hotel at Canal and N. Rampart streets, it also sued the insurance providers of each contractor and subcontractor.

New Orleans sues owners of collapsed Hard Rock Hotel for $12M over cleanup, other costs

The lawsuit takes particularly pointed aim at Heaslip, which was cited for several key violations by investigators with the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. It claims that Heaslip failed to design the proper support beams and columns or calculate the proper loads that each floor could support. It branches out from there to the lead contractor, Citadel, and the various trades subcontractors.

“Just as Heaslip did not run appropriate load calculations and analyses, neither did the general contractor, or any subcontractor or supplier,” the lawsuit alleges.



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Demi Searls, 7, and Harlo Cartozzo, 8, write notes to their uncle Anthony Floyd Magrette who died in the Hard Rock Hotel construction site collapse in New Orleans, Monday, Oct. 12,

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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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Contractor sues Aud Authority, Oneida County over unpaid work on Nexus Center

The contractor working on the Nexus Center in downtown Utica is suing the Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority and Oneida County for at least $10.4 million for work completed on the project. 



a close up of a bridge: Crews continue construction work at the site of the Nexus Center on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Utica. The Nexus project, which formally broke ground in mid-February, is funded through three sources: state funding; the Aud Authority; and an increase in the county's hotel occupancy fund.


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Crews continue construction work at the site of the Nexus Center on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Utica. The Nexus project, which formally broke ground in mid-February, is funded through three sources: state funding; the Aud Authority; and an increase in the county’s hotel occupancy fund.

The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Oneida County, concerns the 170,000-square-foot athletic facility adjacent to the Adirondack Bank Center on Route 5S in Utica. The $50 million Nexus Center is expected to hold four ice rinks, locker rooms, spectator seating and other amenities for youth tournaments when complete. 

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Construction on the project has been halted since May due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over cash flow. The contractor, Hueber-Breuer of Syracuse, is seeking the amount owed for completed construction, as well as interest since July 6. 

The contract between the Aud Authority and Hueber-Breuer allowed work to be suspended for 90 days, according to the lawsuit. 

Hueber-Breuer did not respond to a request for comment.

So far, the county has paid $9.7 million of $18.1 million owed to the contractor on behalf of the Aud Authority, according to the lawsuit. The county was being reimbursed by the state for up to $22 million in payments, as a result of a grant through Empire State Development. 

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said the county has fronted the money for similar large scale projects, such as the redevelopment of the Adirondack Bank Center, on behalf of the Aud Authority before state reimbursement. 

When COVID-19 hit, the county wasn’t able to continue fronting the

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