$3.5 Million Settlement to Family of Construction Worker Killed by Falling Crane Bucket

When a metal piece from a heavy, overhead crane bucket fell to the ground at a construction site in Middleburg, Pa., on May 2, 2008, it struck a construction worker who was working nearby, causing grave injuries.

The worker, 49-year-old Ray Doan, Jr., was struck in the back of the neck by a piece that came loose from the bucket, while he worked on the site for Advanced Concrete Systems Inc. (ACS) of Middleburg, Pa., just north of Harrisburg. He was taken to a hospital, but his injuries were catastrophic and he was later removed from life support.

Now, more than five years later, his family has reached a $3.5 million settlement in a Philadelphia courtroom in connection with the workplace incident that took his life, according to a Nov. 19 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

“The accident was caused by the shearing of a chain link that suspended the large metal bucket from a crane overhead,” The Legal Intelligencer reported. “The bucket dropped and a vibrating metal strip attached to it hit Doan in the back of the neck, court papers alleged.”

The link that had been used to lift the bucket that day “was not designed for, nor permitted to be used in, overhead lifting operations,” according to court papers filed by the plaintiffs. “ACS was using this link in an unsafe and dangerous manner at its manufacturing facility,” the papers continued.

The settlement came from five defendants that were involved in the work at the construction site. About $1.9 million comes from Bitterman Scales, which had been hired by ACS to perform safety tests on the crane and its set-up, according to the paper, while another $1.5 million will come from Superior Walls of America (SWA), which manufactures concrete products that are sold by its franchisee, ACS. Another $100,000 of the settlement is being paid by the remaining defendants, Electrolift Inc., which manufactured the crane; Hoist & Crane Systems Inc. and Piedmont Hoist & Crane Systems Inc., according to the story. The plaintiffs had claimed in court papers that the final three defendants were “allegedly liable for supplying products to ACS that had defective warnings.”

In their own filings in the case, the three remaining defendants said that they were not responsible for the incident that occurred that day. Doan’s family disagreed, citing several examples about how the actions of the companies led to Doan’s death.

“The plaintiffs alleged that because SWA had significant rights of control over ACS, SWA had a responsibility to ensure the safety of employees working in the Middleburg plant and that they were responsible under Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations,” the story reported. “According to court papers, Bitterman Scales admitted that it was not qualified to conduct load tests and that it never inspected the rigging.”

Doan, of Millmont, Pa, had worked at Advanced Concrete since 2005, according to a story in The Sunbury Daily Item newspaper at the time of the incident.

The tragedy underscores the consequences that occur every day across the United States in busy construction sites when profit and indifference replace worker safety.  Too often, workers are hurt when companies fail to take the proper precautions for worker safety all in the name of saving time or money.

Workers who are seriously injured on the job should immediately talk with a competent, professional and compassionate attorney about their case to protect themselves and preserve their legal rights. You have a myriad of legal options, including filing for Workers’ Compensation or filing a lawsuit to recover damages if your case warrants additional legal action.

The best way to review your legal strategy is to know your legal options from the start so that you can make the best choices for you and your family.

In the meantime, in the workplace, you can be you own best advocate. If you or someone you love is asked to do something in a workplace that appears to be dangerous or life-threatening, then you need to thoroughly and completely discuss it with the person asking you to perform the dangerous task. You need to be sure that all safety procedures are being followed to the letter and that you are minimizing any and all risks to yourself and others.

And if you still have concerns, then you need to discuss them immediately with others in the workplace until you get a satisfactory reply regarding safety and proper procedures.

If you or someone you love is suffers a workplace injury, you certainly know that a serious work-related accident can be deadly or debilitating for the rest of your life, affecting your personal mobility, earning potential and your livelihood. That’s not something that you want to take lightly.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or someone you love is ever seriously injured in a worksite, workplace or construction accident anywhere in the United States. At MyPhillyLawyer, you can consult with a qualified, experienced and compassionate attorney to explore all of your legal rights.

We represent the families of victims who are killed in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, call MyPhillyLawyer.