The widow of a worker who was killed while working on the demolition of the Gap Inc. distribution center in Fishkill has filed a wrongful death suit in federal court.
James Parisella, 58, of Fort Pierce, Florida, was killed Dec. 10 when a 100-foot-long section of steel pierced the cab of the Komatsu excavator he was operating on the site.
The attorney for the estate, which includes Parisella's wife Jaye Melanson, said the suit was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, due to the unsafe nature of the building and the conditions surrounding the worksite, said Gerald McCarthy, a partner with McCarthy & Kelly, LLP, in New York City.
Parisella, who grew up in Millbrook and attended St. Joseph School and whose grandfather owned Parisella’s Flowers in Millbrook and Poughkeepsie was working for Environmental Remediation Services Inc. of Syracuse, which was subcontracted by Clayco Contractors of Chicago, at the time of the accident.
"The building and working conditions were horribly unsafe," said McCarthy. "They (the company) should have known this and then we could have avoided this tragedy."
McCarthy said it would be up to a jury to decide the facts and come up with a monetary settlement in the case.
Gap, Clayco, and ERSI are all named in the lawsuit filed earlier this month.
The building was destroyed on Aug. 29 by a fire that state police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) say was intentionally set.
Gap and the ATF have both offered $7,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the fire.