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Settlement reached in crane crash wrongful death suit


A settlement has been reached between the family of a 30-year old Burlington Co., New Jersey man killed in a crane incident and the construction company that owned the crane for $1 million. The man was killed in an April 2012 accident at a Manhattan construction site when the 170-foot tall crane collapsed. The wrongful death suit alleged that the company did not properly inspect the crane and make sure that it was safe for use. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) backed up the lawsuit's allegations when it inspected the company's crane, and determined that it had not done the required inspections on it and issued the company 10 violations and $68,000 in fines. The company disputed OSHA's findings. The man's family was upset that the company did not admit wrongdoing.

Wrongful death suits are brought by a representative of the deceased, typically a family member or an attorney. They allege negligence by a person or institution that caused the decedent's wrongful death, and they seek monetary damages for the pain, suffering and economic loss caused by the wrongful death. For the suit to be successful, it must prove that the defendant breached a duty of care that a reasonable person would observe towards the deceased.

Wrongful death and other negligence lawsuits are common in relation to construction, as it is a dangerous industry. Construction workers frequently face workplace accidents, improperly functioning equipment, or dangerous chemicals. Frequently, construction workers must work at great heights, putting them at risk of death from a fall. Construction work carries a great risk of injury or death, especially from unsafe equipment, as is alleged to have happened in this case.

Anyone with a family member or loved one lost to a wrongful death has the legal right to seek monetary compensation in the form of damages. Monetary damages are awarded by courts to punish the defendant for his or her negligence and also to compensate the victim's family for pain and suffering caused by the death, as well as for expenses such as medical bills and lost wages. Anyone with a loved one lost to negligence is entitled to pursue the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: NJ.com, "Family of N.J. man killed in crane crash settles wrongful death suit for $1M, report says," Brent Johnson, August 20, 2013.

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