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5 Major Crane Collapses & Their Resulting Settlements



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There are few more terrifying events in the construction world than a crane collapsing. Any mishap involving these massive structures often results in significant injury or death.

A crane accident lawyer can help victims and surviving family members seek damages for medical treatment, lost union benefits, lost pay, and the pain and suffering created by this trauma. Oresky & Associates, PLLC won has won $100s of Millions of Dollars in construction accident cases, including cases involving cranes, hoists, scaffolds, lifts, and ladders.  We’ve even recovered a $1.85 Million settlement for a dump truck driver who was hit by a crane while he was inspecting a delivery load in the bed of a truck.

Here are five crane collapses and their resulting claims, settlements in New York City and around the country. In some of these cases, injured workers or surviving members of those killed started lawsuit or filed claims for injury or death caused by a crane accident.

Seattle Crane Collapse, April 27, 2019

Seattle Times reports that four people were killed, and four others were severely injured when a construction crane collapsed onto a street in Seattle, Washington. Two ironworkers who were working on the job site were fatally injured. A college student and a former city administrator were also killed.

The collapse was caused by the premature removal of parts as workers were dismantling the crane. Two people who claimed that they were injured in the collapse and family members of the deceased filed lawsuits against the general contractor and other related parties. They are seeking damages for bodily injuries and wrongful death.

New York City Crane Collapse, March 15, 2008

New York Daily News reported that twenty-four people were injured, and seven people died when a 200-foot-tall tower crane collapsed during the construction of a 44-story building in Manhattan. Six of the dead were construction workers, and the seventh was a tourist.

Investigators attributed the collapse to improper procedures as workers were trying to anchor the crane to the building. The construction site had been cited 13 times for safety violations prior to the deadly accident.

The case was eventually settled after one of the longest civil trials in New York City history, with $96 million in compensatory and punitive damages awarded to victims and surviving family members.

Milwaukee Crane Collapse, July 14, 1999

Marquette Sports Law Review reports that three ironworkers were killed when a load of over 450 tons fell on the suspended platform where they were standing. The deadly accident occurred during the construction of a baseball stadium’s retractable roof. Despite concerns about wind gusts that exceeded the crane’s wind tolerance rating, the contractor insisted that work continue.

Family members sued Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for economic losses and pain and suffering. They were awarded a settlement of more than $99 million. A bronze sculpture of the three victims was installed at the stadium in 2001.

New Orleans Crane Collapse, October 12, 2019

CNN reports that three workers were killed, and over 30 people were injured after the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel collapsed, bringing tons of debris, including two cranes on top of the partly constructed building.

An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uncovered multiple safety and workplace violations. Workers carefully dismantled the fallen cranes several days later to locate and remove the bodies.

Several lawsuits were filed against the companies responsible for the accident, including a lawsuit by the City of New Orleans. The lawsuits are seeking damages for economic losses caused by injury and wrongful death.

Dallas Crane Collapse, June 9, 2019

NBCDFW reports that one woman died, dozens were injured, and more than 500 were left homeless when a crane at a construction site in Dallas fell backward, crushing an apartment building like “a cardboard box,” according to one witness.

The accident happened on a Sunday morning when construction was stopped for the weekend. Bigge Crane and Rigging Company denied responsibility for the accident, saying strong wind gusts of up to 71 mph were to blame. However, the crane was built to withstand wind gusts of up to 140 mph.

Numerous lawsuits were filed, along with the injured and those affected by the apartment building’s destruction. Plaintiffs are seeking economic compensation and damages for their pain and suffering.

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We Can Help if You Were Injured in a Crane Accident

If you or a loved one was injured in a crane accident or another type of construction accident, contact Oresky & Associates, PLLC for a free consultation. Our workplace accident attorneys have helped injured New Yorkers for over 30 years.

In addition to the $1.85 million settlement for a dump truck driver struck by a crane, we have recovered over $400 million in damages through settlements and verdicts.

Other related case results include:

  • $18 million verdict for an undocumented construction worker injured after falling from a scaffold
  • $9.9 million awarded to a worker hurt in a construction accident
  • $6.5 million verdict for a construction worker injured when the scaffolding collapsed
  • $4.4 million awarded to a construction worker injured due to a lack of proper safety procedures

While past results do not promise future outcomes, our team is committed to helping you and your loved ones recover damages. As one of our clients said, “From the beginning I was treated well. They are all professionals and they treated me like family. I am very grateful to them and for all the attention they gave my case.”