The estate of Peter Monsini, a 51-year-old Easton man who died in March after falling nine stories while doing demolition work on downtown Boston’s Government Center Garage, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against contractor John Moriarty & Associates and real estate developer The HYM Investment Group.
A lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Thursday brings six counts of wrongful death and conscious pain and suffering against Moriarty and HYM. Both firms — which are tearing down the ‘60s-era garage over Congress Street and building a 12-story life science building in its place — declined to comment.
The lawsuit claims the demolition site violated federal safety regulations and did not incorporate adequate job-site protocols. It claims Moriarty failed on a number of construction safety practices, such as not conducting a pre-demolition engineering survey of the building and not regularly inspecting the garage floor as necessary.
“Our investigation has determined that the defendants’ conduct was reckless and caused Peter Monsini’s injury, suffering, and death, and we intend to hold the defendants financially responsible,” said attorney Paul E. Mitchell of Mitchell & DeSimone, who filed the suit with fellow attorney John C. DeSimone.
The lawsuit does not specify a total amount of damages sought. Mitchell declined to comment on a total amount that the estate could seek, but did say they will seek both compensatory and punitive damages.
Monsini, an employee of Moriarty subcontractor JDC Demolition Co. Inc., was operating a construction vehicle on the ninth floor of the Government Center Garage around 5:30 p.m. the evening of March 26, a Saturday, when the floor underneath his construction vehicle buckled and collapsed. The lawsuit states “the floor caved in underneath the vehicle” and Monsini “fell into the rubble, suffered consciously, and died.” JDC was not named as a defendant in the suit.
The Government Center Garage demolition is happening as part of HYM’s multibillion-dollar Bulfinch Crossing mixed-use project, with the majority of the concrete garage coming down to make way for a 12-story lab building. Demolition on the garage resumed earlier this month, with Congress Street beneath it expected to be closed through Labor Day.
Federal safety regulators with OSHA launched an investigation after the March collapse, which as of early July was ongoing.
Earlier this summer, inspectors studying the garage collapse found a severely deteriorated support column in an unused section of the Haymarket MBTA station, which sits beneath the garage, and immediately shut down service on the Green and Orange Lines for several days. The MBTA claims HYM is responsible for the garage’s seven support columns, and General Manager Steve Poftak in a board meeting earlier this week said the transit agency would hold HYM financially responsible for repair and the cost of service reductions.
In late May, John Moriarty & Associates of Florida, a subsidiary of the Winchester-based construction firm, was ordered to pay $157 million as part of settling consolidated lawsuits surrounding Eighty Seven Park, the South Florida condominium building that collapsed in May 2021, killing 98 people. Of that $1 billion settlement, nearly half was ordered to be paid by Securitas Security Services USA, according to media reports.