SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Monday a judge sentenced Hultgren Construction, LLC for its role in the deadly Copper Lounge building collapse.
Earlier this year the company pleaded guilty to a criminal charge. That charge carries penalties of up to a half million dollar fine and five years of probation.
In court Monday morning, the judge ruled that Hultgren Construction, LLC must only pay a $50 fee and serve one year of probation.
It’s a day not many people will forget. Three years ago this month, the Copper Lounge collapsed, killing construction worker Ethan McMahon and trapping Emily Fodness for several hours.
Earlier this year, Hultgren Construction LLC pleaded guilty to one criminal charge- willful violation of the Occupational, Safety, and Health Act causing death to employee.
In court Monday the judge explained how this is a prime example of why OSHA regulations need to be followed.
Judge Karen Schreier said the record showed the company didn’t properly teach employees safety regulations. She also explained the company itself was charged with violating OSHA, and not any of the owners of the company. She says you can’t impose a prison sentence on an LLC, that’s the reason for probation.
Aaron Hultgren was not present at the courthouse for Monday’s sentencing. A lawyer representing the company said he had no comment following the ruling.
Earlier this year KELOLAND News reported insurance policies totaling more than $4 million held by both Hultgren Construction, LLC and Legacy Development and Consulting Company, LLC will be distributed among the parties who sued, which include the McMahon and Fodness families. The assistant U.S. attorney said in court the restitution and money was going where it should.