iStock(NEW ORLEANS) — The family of one of the men who died when the Hard Rock hotel collapsed two weeks ago in downtown New Orleans has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the building’s developers.
The hotel was under construction on Oct. 12, when the top floors came tumbling down, killing three construction workers and injuring dozens of others. The cause of the collapse is currently under investigation.
Kamren Schexnayder and Angela Magrette Ortega, the daughter and twin sister of one of the victims, Anthony Magrette, said in their lawsuit that the developers failed to provide a safe working environment for the workers.
Schexnayder and Ortega said Magrette, 49, was “alive at the time the Hard Rock began to collapse” and the companies are responsible for “his conscious physical pain and suffering and mental anguish immediately preceding his death.”
They are also suing for their own mental suffering.
Both women arrived at the scene of the collapse before rescue workers could find Magrette and witnessed his body removed from the rubble, according to the lawsuit.
The two filed the suit on Tuesday in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against multiple companies: 1031 Canal, Kailas Development, Citadel Builders, Moses Engineers, Harry Baker Smith Architects, and Heaslip Engineering.
“Our highest priority is the care and concern for the families involved,” 1031 Canal said in a statement. “While there are many questions that are unanswerable at this juncture, our prayers and sympathies are with the good men and women who have been affected. We are hopeful that the thoughts and prayers throughout the community will help us as we continue to work with local authorities and the General Contractor to identify the causes of the incident.”
A statement on Citadel Builder’s website read, in part, “safety has always been and shall remain a priority for our employees and subcontractors.”
Harry Baker Smith Architects declined to comment, and the remaining companies did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.
The majority of the companies named in Tuesday’s lawsuit are facing separate litigation from victims who were injured in the collapse and have alleged negligence.
The bodies of the two other victims who died, 63-year-old Jose Ponce Arreola and 36-year-old Quinnyon Wimberly, have not been removed from the building.
Quinnyon Wimberly II, the son of the elder Wimberly, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on Monday, according to the New Orleans Advocate.
NOLA Ready, the city’s emergency preparedness agency, said that the recovery efforts of the two victims is “top priority” and will begin as “as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News as to when that would be.
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