Last month, the under-construction Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans collapsed, tragically killing three people and injuring dozens more. The dramatic collapse was caught on camera as it happened.
The victims of the collapse were construction workers who had to scramble to dodge raining metal and debris.
One of the construction workers who was injured also became a key witness in the workplace safety investigation that unfolded after the collapse.
The worker, Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma, had complained to his supervisors that the worksite was unsafe weeks before the deadly collapse. He was interviewed by a Spanish-language news program immediately following the incident.
Mr. Ramirez Palma then became a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the developers of the project, accusing them of negligence and using substandard materials to hold up the concrete in the building.
But now, he’s been deported back to his native Honduras — with the case still ongoing.
Not only would this hamper the investigation into the Hard Rock collapse, but immigration advocates and labor lawyers said this could also have a serious effect on immigrant workers who encounter safety violations. They’d be less likely to speak up, even though they should be protected under OSHA. All workers, regardless of their immigration status, are protected for claiming their rights under federal labor law.
Ramirez Palma leaves behind his wife and son in the U.S. — and the developers behind the New Orleans Hard Rock project will likely get away with murder.
The website for the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans still exists with the following message:
Our hearts and minds remain with those impacted, and we are grateful for the leadership from the offices of Mayor Cantrell’s and Councilwoman Palmer.
We are collaborating with the other fine response organizations—as well as the strong and resilient people of New Orleans.”
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.