Defendant in S.D. Lounge Collapse Wants Venue Change

April 10, 2018

A developer listed as a defendant in lawsuits over a 2016 fatal building collapse in downtown Sioux Falls has alleged the company never owned the structure.

Legacy Developments also asked a judge for a change of venue to Aberdeen, arguing the company can’t get a fair trial in Sioux Falls. Legacy is one of several defendants in three lawsuits filed after the Dec. 2, 2016, collapse of the Copper Lounge building that killed construction worker Ethan McMahon.

Legacy alleged it never had a role in hiring or overseeing those involved in the construction work, the Argus Leader reported .

“The media coverage gave the public a false impression that Legacy owned the property, hired the contractor, was culpable in the collapse and at fault for the death and injuries that followed, and should be punished for the same,” the company said in its request for a trial location change.

Boomerang Investments bought the Copper Lounge from CLP Investments with a transfer fee recorded a day before the collapse, according to Minnehaha County records. Both entities share a Sioux Falls address, which matches Legacy Developments’ address.

Boomerang and CLP both have listed their sole manager and president as Norm Drake, who is the CEO of Legacy.

The company assigned with remodeling Copper Lounge at the time of collapse, Hultgren Construction, was run by Aaron Hultgren, who was also Legacy’s director of development and operations.

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