Did house-collapse contractors break the law? City is mum

Would it stand up in court?: The city won't say if unsupervised work done on this house the day it collapsed was illegal.
Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Officials refuse to say if Build It Back contractors broke the law by working without proper oversight on a Gerritsen Beach home that fell over on Wednesday. Required safety inspectors were not present the day the Beacon Court home collapsed, according to Luis Tormenta of contractor LiRos Group. But authorities won’t say whether the move was illegal.

“We can’t provide legal analysis on comments by others. This incident is under investigat­ion,” a Build It Back spokesman said.

Tormenta told a town hall in Gerritsen Beach last night that the work was “not scheduled,” but his company is now referring questions to Build It Back, and the program’s spokesman also ignored three requests to define the term.

LiRos has a $275 million contract with the federally funded, city-run program to fix and elevate hundreds of Sandy-damaged Brooklyn homes. The company requires three safety inspectors on site while workers are present, but that did not stop the builders, who should have known better, Tormenta said last night.

“We have contractors working for us that have been told that they can’t do that and they should know better, but they were working,” he said.

The city is investigating the collapse, and LiRos has resumed work on 53 homes it is fixing, a Build It Back spokesman said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019: Updated to show construction has resumed and to reflect the correct number of homes LiRos is fixing.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: