Crane Collapses on Bridge Demolition, Killing Seaman | DENENA | POINTS

Crane Collapses on Bridge Demolition, Killing Seaman

Facts and Allegations

A loving father and devoted husband was killed while employed as an oxygen torch cutter on a bridge demolition project. The man and his co-worker were both fatally injured after being knocked from the manbasket to which they were harnessed, falling more than thirty feet to the barge deck below.

A crawler crane was fastened to the steel knuckle before it was cut loose by other workers. Due to a miscalculation regarding the knuckle’s actual weight coupled with the list of the barge on which the crane was sitting, as soon as the final cut was made, the crane’s boom became overloaded and collapsed under intense shock loading.

Sections of the crane’s boom collapsed onto the manbasket, knocking both men out. This was despite the fact that they were both properly harnessed to the basket.

Upon inspection, it was determined that the steel knuckle was several thousand pounds over the weight limit for the crane. It was also discovered during litigation that the crane’s load moment indicator was not functioning properly and had been reported as inoperable by multiple crane operators several times prior to the fatal accident.


The deceased victim left behind a loving wife and five children between the ages of nine and twenty. The family sued the construction company involved, alleging various theories including the Jones Act, General Maritime Law, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation, and state tort law.

After removing the case from the state court to federal court, the parties agreed to mediate the case. At the conclusion of the mediation, the parties reached an amicable settlement that ensures that the man did not die in vain.

The defendant company did not admit liability.


  • Settlement Awarded: $3,500,000
  • Less Attorney Fees: $1,166,666
  • Less Case Expenses: $42,686.60
  • Net to Clients: $2,290,648