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Atlanta Crane Accident Attorneys Discuss Recent $17 Million Settlement in Crane Accident

March 23, 2014

Our Atlanta Crane Accident Attorneys and Workers Compensation Attorneys at Montlick and Associates recognize that construction sites constitute one of the most dangerous work environments. When heavy equipment on a construction site is defective, poorly maintained or operated unsafely, the consequences can be grave injury and even wrongful death. A fatal crane accident that killed an electrician on a construction site in another state demonstrates the consequences of negligent maintenance and operation of cranes and other heavy machinery on construction projects. Our attorneys and staff at Montlick and Associates express our condolences to the family of Adam P. Nowak, who was killed when a crane hook plummeted sixty feet from a crane and struck him in the head.

The lawsuit alleged that negligence by multiple parties was responsible for allowing the crane hook to fall on Nowak. The plaintiff's memorandum alleged that the owner of the crane, Veolia, did not adequately maintain the crane's limit switch. This safety device is designed to avoid "two-blocking" incidents. Two-blocking refers to a situation when the hook is raised too high so that the cable that suspends the hook snaps. The plaintiff also alleged that Veolia did not perform tests of the switch or even train employees to conduct tests.

As often occurs in construction accident lawsuits where the conduct of multiple parties might contribute to causing injury, Veolia blamed another defendant Permadur, the company that was contracted to conduct inspections and maintenance of the crane and Kenny Contractors, the general contractor on the project alleging it was responsible for job site safety.

The plaintiff's memorandum also alleged that Permadur was negligent because it did not remove the crane from service after discovering that the limit switch was outdated. However, several members of Veolia's management team allegedly admitted that they were advised by Permadur that the limit switches on Veolia's cranes were antiquated and needed to be replaced after a prior two-blocking incident. Permadur's mediation statement also indicated that it notified Veolia that the crane did not comply with standards mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA). Permadur further claimed that it notified Veolia of the necessity of using a newer type of limit switch but that Veolia elected not to incur the expense.

The settlement in the amount of $17 million was comprised of $15 million contributed by Veolia, $1.5 million by Permadur and $500,000 by Kenny. These types of complex scenarios involving potential liability by multiple entities are not uncommon in Atlanta construction accident cases. The situation is complicated further by the fact that workers' compensation benefits typically constitute an exclusive remedy against an employer. Because the available compensation usually is more extensive in a the construction accident personal injury claim or lawsuit, construction accident victims and their families can benefit from seeking an evaluation of their legal rights and remedies by an experienced personal injury attorney, to improve the prospects of maximizing their financial recovery. At Montlick & Associates we have a dedicated team of workers' compensation attorneys, in addition to a team of personal injury attorneys.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work On Your Case

Our Atlanta Crane Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer all types of serious injuries for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.