Trump Hotel settles minor OSHA violation after Las Vegas window washer’s fatal fall

LAS VEGAS – The Trump International Hotel has settled a workplace violation in the aftermath of a window washer’s 2018 falling death. 

In a settlement approved at a Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration meeting Wednesday, property owner Trump Ruffin LLC agreed to pay a $630 penalty tied to a minor violation for having no paperwork showing anchorage points on the building were in proper order.

On Dec. 12, 2018, Jonathan Garcia was cleaning windows on a rope descent system anchored to the rails of the building’s powered roof cart when a microburst of wind knocked him into the building.

Garcia, 27, fell and struck his head. He died from blunt force trauma.

In this Sept. 21, 2016, photo, the Trump International hotel is seen in Las Vegas. Fire officials say a suspect is in custody after two separate blazes were discovered at the hotel Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. The Clark County Fire Department released a statement saying toasters, towels and various other materials were used to ignite the fires at the hotel bearing President Donald Trump's name. (AP Photo/John Locher)

After Garcia’s death, Nevada OSHA inspected the site and fined hotel owner Trump Ruffin LLC $900 for the missing paperwork. 

Trump Ruffin LLC contested the violation and fine and later resolved the dispute with OSHA through a penalty reduction, according to case documents.

Read the full case documents here: 

Salli Ortiz, legal counsel for the Nevada Division of Industrial Relations, explained to OSHA’s review board why the penalty was lowered.

“The equipment that was part of this inspection that belonged to Trump Ruffin wasn’t a contributing factor [or] in any way part of the accident other than the [Building Maintenance Unit] that was on the roof had just not been certified as being in proper order,” Ortiz said. “When the inspector did the visual inspection, he saw absolutely no issues with it, it was just strictly the paperwork part of it.”

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In a July 2 letter to Nevada OSHA’s review board, Ortiz wrote that the rails of the building’s powered maintenance car “are substantial and there was no apparent reason to believe they would fail as an anchorage.”

A balcony viewing of the latest demonstration in Las Vegas. Trump Tower is in the background.

The Trump hotel in Las Vegas is in part owned by the Trump Organization, a company managed by Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr.

Trump co-owns the Las Vegas hotel with Phil Ruffin, a billionaire casino mogul who also owns the iconic Treasure Island resort across the street.

Official at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas were not available for comment.

The USA TODAY Network reached out to Trump Ruffin LLC lawyer David B. Avakian, but he did not respond to a request for comment. 

Contributing: The Associated Press. 

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here