Hultgren Construction pleads guilty to building collapse

Published: Sep. 26, 2019 at 4:04 PM CDT
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A representative of Hultgren Construction admitted guilt Thursday for the 2016 building collapse in downtown Sioux Falls.

According to court documents, Hultgren entered a plea of guilty to a charge of willful violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) resulting in the death of an employee.

On December 2, 2016, the Copper Lounge building collapsed while crews were working inside.

Ethan McMahon, who was working as a construction worker for Hultgren, died in the collapse.

Emily Fodness was living on the second floor of the building at the time. She was rescued after being trapped in the rubble for several hours.

This summer, Fodness and the family of McMahon reached a settlement totaling more than $4 million.

Hultgren Construction faces up to five years of probation and a $500,000 fine. Company official Brian Bauer told a judge that the business does not have the ability to pay any fines.

According to court documents, a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for December 16.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)