Two Seattle companies, Lease Crutcher Lewis and Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), involved in erecting a construction crane that collapsed in 2006 in Bellevue, Washington, have settled a lawsuit filed by the parents of a Microsoft lawyer. The man was killed when the crane crushed him as he sat in his apartment. Lease Crutcher Lewis was the general contractor overseeing the operation of the building, which the crane was being used to construct. A third company, Northwest Tower Crane Services, which was found to have no responsibility for the collapse, was dismissed from the suit. It was alleged in the suit that all three companies were negligent in their roles in the installation, design and operation of the crane.
The 210-foot crane was being used to construct the Tower 333 building in downtown Bellevue. It came crashing down on two buildings, one being where the victim lived. MKA was in charge of the structural engineering of the crane while Lease Crutcher Lewis, as the general contractor, was overseeing the operation. State investigators fined Lease Crutcher Lewis and MKA for improper design and construction of the crane, but the citation against MKA was dismissed on appeal.
In an unusual arrangement, the crane had been attached to steel I-beams in an underground parking garage left over from an earlier, unfinished construction project on the site. After the crane was cut up and removed, its replacement was attached to a concrete pad on the ground, the traditional way to anchor a construction crane.
On the eve of trial, MKA admitted some liability in the collapse, but continued to blame Lease Crutcher Lewis for its role in the incident. Matthew Knopp, a Seattle lawyer, represented the victim’s family and did a very good job.
Source: Seattle Times
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