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Job site fatality brings manslaughter charges

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A Brooklyn contractor has been charged with manslaughter following the death of a worker who was killed while digging a foundation in March.

William Lattarulo is accused of ignoring obvious safety hazards and forcing his employees to endanger themselves. Prosecutors rarely press criminal charges against contractors.

Luoro Ortega was digging the foundation for a commercial building in East New York when the soil collapsed and crushed him. Before the accident, a consultant and a more experienced contractor warned Lattarulo that the foundation was unstable and needed shoring up. Lattarulo ordered Ortega to keep digging. Moments later, Ortega was buried in rubble.

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