Litigation concerning a fatal Pennsylvania workplace accident has brought about a $17 million settlement.  The case involved a 45-year-old father of five children who was struck and killed by a 300-pound iron hook while on the job in 2011.

The worker’s death was blamed on an industrial crane that was said to have been negligently operated and maintained.  The settlement came about as both sides were preparing for a scheduled jury trial.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs in this case emphasized the loss that the family suffered.  They further went on to suggest that this was an accident waiting to happen.  “Our investigation revealed that [the employer] Veolia had failed to inspect its cranes thousands of times before the accident proving that this was not an unforeseeable act, but rather was predictable based on their utter lack of safety inspections.”

A similar accident apparently occurred at the same facility in 2004.  While operators were then said to be aware that safety limit switches were outdated, Veolia apparently did not spend the $30,000 required to upgrade the machinery. 

Veolia was not the only defendant that participated in this settlement, however.  A firm that had contracted to inspect and repair the crane contributed $1.5 million to the settlement.  And the general contractor for the worksite ended up paying $500,000.

Workplace accidents like the one above are often serious in nature and can involve a variety of causes.  Sorting out what happened and proving up a case is not always simple, however, and that’s why experienced attorneys in the area should be contacted in the event an accident occurs.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Workplace wrongful death yields $17 million settlement, reportedly highest in Phila. history,” Jon Campisi, Feb. 18, 2014