Judge Upholds Lomma Manslaughter Charges

A judge has upheld manslaughter charges against a construction crane owner and a mechanic after a rig collapsed in New York City and killed two workers in May 2008, according to WSJ.com and the Associated Press.

The judge turned down the defendants' bid to get the case dismissed. With that, the case is headed for a trial this spring or summer.

Prosecutors say owner James Lomma and mechanic Tibor Varganyi arranged for a cheap welding job on a 200-foot-tall crane. They say the weld failed after a month of use, causing the upper parts of the crane to fall, damaging an apartment building and killing the two workers on the ground.

The companies' lawyer has said the collapse was an accident, not a crime. Both men are due back in court May 17, when a trial date is likely to be set.