Some victims of the Seattle crane collapse are awarded more than $100 millions by a jury

Workers were disassembling the crane, which was 300 feet long, when it fell from the top of a Google building in South Lake Union.

Some victims of the Seattle crane collapse are awarded more than $100 millions by a jury

SEATTLE -- Monday's award by a jury to four victims of the tower crane fall that resulted in their deaths in 2019 in Seattle was more than $100,000,000.

Workers were disassembling the crane, which was 300 feet long, in strong wind gusts. The crane fell from the roof at a Google building in South Lake Union.

Two ironworkers were killed in the accident. The crane crushed the cars below, killing Sarah Pantip Wong (a 19-year old student at Seattle Pacific University) and Alan Justad (a 71 year-old former city worker).

On Monday, the jury ruled in favor of Wong and Justad's families. It also ruled against three other victims who were hurt or had their vehicles struck or damaged by the crane or debris. This included Wong's friend Brittany Cadelena who was riding with her in an Uber to a shopping center and Ali Edriss, the driver of Uber.

David Beninger, an attorney representing Justad's family said that "when your work affects public, your job it to protect the public." "Hopefully, this will bring closure to the families and individuals who were hurt by this preventable fall."

Separate lawsuits were filed by the families of the ironworkers who perished, Travis Corbet (33), and Andrew Yoder (31).

The investigation revealed that companies were not following crane disassembly instructions. They also removed large pins that secured sections of the crane's mast prematurely. This was a common practice in the industry to cut down on time.

The jury found that three companies - Omega Morgan, Northwest Tower Crane Service, and Morrow Equipment Co. - had caused damages of $150 million. Morrow, who was given 25 percent of blame by the jury, was not present at the trial and is not required to pay. Lawyers for victims stated that separate claims against the company are being pursued.

Northwest Tower Crane supplied the iron workers and Omega Morgan supplied the large mobile crane that was used to disassemble the tower crane. They were both held responsible for 75 per cent of the damages. The companies didn't respond immediately to messages left after business hours on Monday.

Plaintiffs' attorneys praised Northwest Tower Crane Crane and Morrow, who acknowledged some responsibility and changed their practices in response to the tragedy. Omega Morgan repeatedly denied that it was to blame. This forced the case to go on trial instead of being settled.

Todd Gardner, an attorney representing Wong's family, stated that Northwest Tower Crane pulled too many pins at once, creating a potential for disaster. Omega Morgan decided that they would continue working despite the wind. This wouldn't have been possible if either of them had done their jobs.

Wong's family will receive $54 million and Justad's $39 million. Cadelena, Edriss and Edriss each will receive $9 million.


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