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Construction Crane

Atlantic City, NJ: (Mar-02-08) A workers' compensation lawsuit was brought against Universal Concrete in Folsom and Chicago-based Mi-JACK, after Daniel Lewis, 43, a Mullica Township man, died when a 35-ton crane crushed him. The suit claimed that Lewis was working at Universal Concrete when he was run over by a gantry straddle crane. After the accident, Lewis was flown to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he survived 15 days with a crushed pelvis, failing kidneys, and severed femoral artery. He also suffered a severe degloving injury, which means his muscles and skin detached, causing severe hemorrhaging. Family members stated that after multiple surgeries and 88 blood transfusions, Lewis died May 30, 2002. The suit against the two companies alleged that Lewis was guiding the machine's operator when he turned away to put a hook into a concrete panel. The crane was straddling concrete panels and a 15 by 25 by 30 foot piece was blocking the operator's view. Legal counsel said that the 40-foot-wide crane also had blind spots, lacked mirrors, a wheel guard, and a near-object detection sensor.

Despite nonfunctional beacons and travel alarms that would have alerted workers to the approach of the machine, it was operable because it also lacked a fail safe, which would have prevented workers from using it when the beacons and alarms were not functioning. As part of a settlement reached following an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation that resulted in 9 violations, Universal Concrete and Mi-JACK, the manufacturer of the crane, agreed to pay $1.6 million to resolve the wrongful death suit. [PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY: FATAL CRANE ACCIDENT]

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Published on Mar-3-08


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