(BrightPress.org) – When it comes to safety, the word should be more than a slogan, especially when it comes to issues that could save lives and people’s health. On April 27, 2019, Omega Rigging and Northwest Crane employees improperly disassembled a 300-foot crane in downtown Seattle, Washington, during high winds. The oversight reportedly caused it to collapse from the roof of a Google building and crash down onto the streets below. The crane landed on multiple cars. Among the deceased were two workers who fell with the crane. Additionally, 19-year-old college student Sarah Pantip Wong and 71-year-old Alan Justad died when the crane crushed their vehicles.
On Monday, March 14, a jury awarded Wong’s family $54 million, Justad’s family $39 million, and an additional $9 million to other individuals injured or who lost property due to the incident.
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An incident report found the two companies failed to follow proper safety protocols to minimize potential damage. Investigators said the workers prematurely removed pins from the crane during high winds, causing an avoidable collapse.
During pre-trial investigations, attorneys also learned Omega had a history of ignoring safety practices and often overlooked unsafe practices. They alleged company officials declined to learn from the incidents or make necessary policy changes to ensure one of their cranes never falls to the ground again.
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