Four months after 16-year-old Gustavo Ramirez fell 11 floors and 120 feet to his death, two subcontractors on the job site for the LaQuinta Inn have been fined more than $20,000 by Tennessee OSHA.
The TOSHA investigation, obtained by News4 Investigates, shows that Carlos Cortes with Cortes Plastering was fined $15,500 for a lack of planking and decking on scaffolding.
The investigation shows that there was a three-foot gap between the wall of the hotel, created by a column, and the scaffolding itself.
TOSHA investigators believe Ramirez slipped between that gap and fell to his death.
“It seems more tragic to us that he is such a young kid. But honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered if he had been sixty. The devastation and the tragedy, it would have all been the same,” said Wendy Fisher, TOSHA asst. commissioner.
News4 Investigates reached Cortes by phone, who said he would have his lawyer contact us. We have yet to hear from an attorney representing Cortes.
The state also fined Stover and Sons, which subcontracted Cortes Plastering, $5,400 for the lack of decking.
Fisher said that Stover and Sons is appealing the fine, but Cortes Plastering is not.
A representative for Stover and Sons has repeatedly told News4 Investigates no comment.