SIOUX FALLS, SD:
Hultgren Construction that was remodeling the Copper Lounge building when it collapsed Dec. 2 will contest nearly $200,000 in fines and two dozen violations.
Aaron Hultgren, the president of Hultgren Construction, confirmed that his company will contest the violations issued in two batches by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Hultgren would not say why his company was contesting the fines.
Workers with the company were removing a load-bearing wall between the Copper Lounge and the old Skelly's Bar when the collapse occurred. The accident killed Ethan McMahon, a 24-year-old who worked for the company, and left Emily Fodness, an upstairs resident in the building, trapped in rubble for three hours.
OSHA issued two sets of violations last month, finding 21 serious violations and two willful violations leading to the accident and the death of McMahon. The Command Center, a temporary agency that supplied workers to the project, was also cited and fined.
Hultgren had until Friday to contest the first set of violations and until May 24 to contest the second set.
"Hultgren Construction is contesting both citations, including the proposed penalties," Hultgren said in an email.