Family members demand justice following Hard Rock collapse

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NEW ORLEANS — Families of the three workers killed in the Hard Rock Hotel collapse are demanding justice.

They’ve joined city councilmember Kristin Palmer in calling for the District Attorney to filed criminal charges against the developer and contractors.

Palmer and the families of the three men who died in the Hard Rock collapse are asking the city’s inspector general to turn over its findings to the D.A. to potentially pursue criminal charges.

“Nothing is ever going to make us feel better. We constantly relive what happened here,” said Angela Magrette during a news conference Thursday.

Magrette is the twin sister of Anthony Magrette who died.

“It was told we were going to see justice and we still haven’t. We’re going through this everyday. Even though it gets quiet, in our heads it’s still loud. It’s not going to stop.”

Families are calling for those responsible for the death of their loved ones to “be tried for their crimes.”

“They should have went in and came out alive,” said Irene Wimberly who lost her son Quinnyon. “I feel like a crime was committed and I want them to pay for it.”

Palmer is urging the D.A. to file charges.

“This should be no different than any other deaths that happen on the streets of New Orleans,” Palmer said. “I just expect them to be fully vetted and investigated and prosecution if necessary.”

Her call comes after the city council unanimously voted to rescind the property’s conditional use permit.

“So, if they want to build something similar to what they proposed, they have to come back to the council, they have to come back to an open and public process and be accountable to the public,” Palmer said.

It could be years before anything truly happens with the former Hard Rock site because the property is tied up in multiple lawsuits.

1031 Canal Development LLC released the following statement:

While loved ones would like the site to become a green space and memorial, the owner plans to continue developing the site calling it a vital piece of real estate.

We are disappointed in the City Council’s decision today. The collapse of the building under construction at 1031 Canal Street was a tragic event caused by numerous design and construction issues. None of these issues are attributable to the owner, 1031 Canal Development. OSHA conducted a full federal investigation and did not implicate the owner.

1031 Canal Development has, from the beginning, sought to safely develop a key piece of property that holds tremendous economic and civic importance. The Council’s decision today penalizes the owner for the acts of others. It also jeopardizes one of the largest private investments in the City—a project that is backed by an international brand and is capable of creating hundreds of jobs and generating millions of dollars of tax revenue.

1031 Canal is evaluating its options and fully intends to move forward with the development of this important site.

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