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Historical settlement in Pennsylvania wrongful death case

A wrongful death case has brought a settlement of $17 million. The facts of the case were set to be heard by a jury in a trial to begin sometime in the next month when the settlement was reached by the parties involved. That sum is said to be one of the highest ever awarded in Pennsylvania for a wrongful death suit.

The death of an electrician occurred while he was working at a steam plant, setting up some electrical equipment. The cable that held the hook of a crane, which was hanging above him, broke. The hook fell and instantly killed him.

The steam plant paid the majority of the settlement, as they were accused of not ensuring that the crane was working properly -- specifically a mechanism called the limit switch. That switch is a safety feature that keeps the hook on the crane from being elevated too high, also called two-blocking. Several years ago, the plant was accused of another two-blocking incident and was told at that time to upgrade the limit switches without delay. The plant did not follow recommendations to pay $30,000 to improve their equipment.

The wrongful death suit named the plant, the firm that allegedly inspected and repaired the crane and the general contractor as defendants, and each paid some portion of the settlement. Pennsylvania residents who have lost a loved one because of the negligence of another have the right to file this type of suit. While a financial settlement will not bring the loved one back to their family, it will help to cover any costs incurred as a result of the negligent act.

Source:, Record Settlement Reached in Death of Electrician Struck by Iron Hook, David Chang, Feb. 12, 2014

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