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City Sues Owners Of Hard Rock Hotel For $12.3 Million

The partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel building as seen from Rampart Street.
Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr
The partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel building as seen from Rampart Street.

The City of New Orleans is suing the owners of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel.

The lawsuit names the building's owner, Mohan Kailas, his partners and contractors as defendants. The city is asking for $12.3 million — the amount that the city has said it’s spent responding to the collapse.

"Our city was harmed. Our people were killed," wrote Mayor Latoya Cantrell wrote in an emailed statement. "No amount of delay or denial or excuses can change that — and we will not allow those responsible to evade responsibility for the damages they have caused our city."

The top floors of the under-construction hotel collapsed last October, killing three workers and injuring 18 others. It took nine months for the remains of two of the victims — Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce Arreola — to be recovered from the site. The body of a third worker killed, Anthony Magrette, was recovered within days of the collapse.

City officials said the collapse has caused a "near total shutdown" of one New Orleans’ busiest commercial corridors — the intersection of Canal and Rampart streets. Many shops and businesses that could be open under coronavirus restrictions, including the historic Saenger Theater, have yet to reopen.

"We will continue to hold the building’s ownership accountable and stand with our families to seek justice," Cantrell said. "This lawsuit is a step towards doing just that."

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