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Jury Awards $44 Million to Texas Worker Injured at Construction Site

Recently, a Texas jury awarded a construction worker $44 million in damages in connection with injuries that he sustained while working at a Texas construction site. In 2013, Tyler Lee had been working at a construction site in Houston. Berkel & Co. had been hired to drill auger cast pilings at the site for a building. Another worker at the site had been operating a crane to drill the cast pilings.

While operating the crane to complete deep foundation drilling, the auger apparently became stuck. The crane operator decided to stop the work; however, a supervisor from Berkel at the worksite supposedly told the crane operator to continue working in order to finish the job. As a result, the crane collapsed. When the crane collapsed, Lee had been standing about 100 feet away behind a safety fence. Nevertheless, a piece of the crane fell on him and pinned him down. Lee had to be hospitalized, and he eventually had his leg amputated.

Lee filed a lawsuit against Berkel and the company that manufactured the crane. Lee argued that Berkel violated safety and company policies in order to complete the job as quickly as possible and to save a few dollars. A jury recently found both Berkel and the crane manufacturer negligent. The jury found Berkel 90% at fault and found the crane manufacturer 10% at fault. The jury awarded Lee $44 million in damages, of which $8.5 million accounted for punitive damages against Berkel. Lee received damages in connection with past and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and past and future physical impairment, physical pain, and mental anguish.

Crane-Related Injuries and Fatalities

Cranes are large, heavy pieces equipment that can pose significant dangers to workers at construction sites if they are not maintained properly or if they are not used according to specifications. Over the past decade, there have been approximately 60 to 80 crane-related fatalities each year. Notably, a significant number of crane-related fatalities occur in Texas each year. Crane-related injuries and fatalities can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Falls;
  • Struck by falling object;
  • Contact with electric current;
  • Transportation incidents; or
  • Caught or compressed by equipment or objects.

Any type of worker present and working around cranes should be aware of the dangers posed by these machines, including: construction laborers; electricians; welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers; and crane and tower operators.

Contact Our Texas Work Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you know has suffered a work-related injury or illness, it is important to reach out to an experienced Texas work accident attorney who can help protect your rights. Zehl & Associates employs a team of attorneys who have extensive experience helping injured workers obtain compensation for their injuries. Our Texas work accident attorneys have recovered over $1 Billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients in just the past five years.