After the preventable and devastating collapse of the under-construction Hard Rock Hotel in late 2019, a new and delayed timeline leaves officials frustrated. What does this mean for the city, and what does it mean for the workers and victims being represented by the WPG Law Firm.The construction site of the Hard Rock Hotel was busy on October 12, when an unexpected collapse claimed the lives of three workers and injured more than 20 others. Two of the workers’ bodies are still trapped in the rubble.
1031 Canal Development, Kailas Companies, Harry Baker Smith Architects, Heaslip Engineering, and Citadel Builders, the companies responsible for the hotel’s construction, sought to cut costs with measures such as inadequate structure support and subpar materials, leading to the collapse.
The legal team at WPG Law Firm is representing the victims for their injuries and traumatization during the collapse, but city officials immediately after the collapse seemed more interested in the immigration status of these victims than their trauma or tragedy. The city has even detained one victim who agreed to speak with a news station.1031 Canal Development is also responsible for the demolition of the building, and originally proposed the dangerous wreckage could be cleared by the end of summer 2020. Their latest timeline estimates merely the first phase of demolition completed by May, leaving the rest of the building to be cleared by the end of the year.
1031 plans to shore up the building first for stabilization and then begin to clear the wreckage after that. This plan requires the demolition of three historic buildings next to the Hard Rock to create a clearer path to bring it down, which has sparked criticism from historic preservationists across the city.
New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell told Nola.com that 1031 needs to prove the necessity of demolishing these other buildings before the city will sign off on the plan. He also made it clear that the city is “very unhappy with timeline and we have made it very clear to them that we are unhappy with it and we have asked them to go back and find some way to shorten this timeline.”It’s hard to say whether this delay in the original schedule will have much of an impact on the victims of this tragedy. Certainly, it will continue to keep the families of the two workers whose bodies are still among the rubble from being reunited with the remains of their loved ones. But for the living victims of the collapse and their families, they can rest assured that the WPG Law Firm will continue to fight for them and advocate for the justice they deserve.
Have you or a loved one been affected by an injury on the job? Were you a victim in the Hard Rock Hotel collapse?