A workplace accident is never an acceptable occurrence. It takes a mental toll on those who are both directly and indirectly involved. Pittsburgh is no stranger to workplace accidents; sadly, some of these accidents have proved fatal. Other parts of the Keystone state have also experienced this type of workplace tragedy, and recently, the family of a worker that was killed on the job reached a settlement with the businesses they felt were responsible for their loved one's death.
The $17 million dollar settlement, believed to be the largest settlement ever in the Philadelphia area, will be paid to the family of a 45-year-old man who was killed when a hook fell roughly 60 feet and struck him. Fifteen million dollars of the settlement will be paid by the company that operated the crane, $1.5 million will be paid by the company that was charged with inspecting the crane, and the remaining $500,000 will be paid by the general contractor of the worksite.
The family stated that the cause of the accident was a lack of proper maintenance of a limit switch, a device that prevents "two-blocking." Two-blocking occurs when a crane hook is raised too high and the cable it's attached to breaks. The company that was tasked with the inspection and maintenance of these switches did not properly inspect or replace the switches. When a similar two-blocking situation occurred in 2004, the crane operator was told the limit switches needed to be replaced, but the company neglected to do so.
Although the settlement will not bring the victim back, it will allow his family to live without financial worry. For anyone who has experienced this type of tragedy, seeking compensation can help a family move on after a devastating loss. A legal professional can help victims or their families determine if seeking financial relief is a viable option.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Workplace wrongful death yields $17 million settlement, reportedly highest in Phila. history" Jon Campisi, Feb. 18, 2014