The Seattle Crane Accident- Who is to Blame

April 27, 2019 started as an ordinary day in Seattle, with people, normal people, headed to work, running errands, exercising, or having lunch with friends. However, 4 unsuspecting individuals met tragedy that day, and the lives of their loved ones were changed forever. 

On April 27, parts of a crane fell onto a busy road, resulting in the deaths of 2 ironworkers, a retired city worker and a college freshman. It appears from the video of this horrible accident that the crane was being used on a building that was under construction on Google’s new Seattle campus. Certain parts of the crane landed on the building, while others fell onto 6 motor vehicles below. In addition to the 4 fatalities, 4 others were seriously injured.

Under Investigation

The cause of the tragedy remains under investigation. Video from the accident appears to show that sections of the crane separating cleanly, leading some to conclude that pins from the crane had been removed prematurely by construction workers.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries is expected to finish their investigation of the scene shortly. The entities currently under investigation include the following companies, which had various levels of involvement with the construction: GLY, Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc., Omega Rigging and Machinery Moving Inc., Morrow Equipment Co. LLC, and Seaburg Construction Corp. Seaburg employed the tower crane operator.

Who Is It Blame

Where does liability lie? As with most accidents, there are many different perspectives. Was this just a freak accident, for which no one was at fault? Or were safety precautions and protocols ignored or forgotten? Was human error to blame? Was there a defect of the crane itself?

Is Weather a Factor in This Tragedy

Some witnesses claim that high winds existed in the area, and the National Weather Service has indicated that precipitation occurred within minutes of the accident. However, these factors should have been known, investigated and discussed prior to the placement of the crane on the building, and will give the family and friends of the victims’ little solace. The families will demand answers, and rightfully so. Law suits will be filed. Experts have already been hired to assist in the apportionment of blame, and to enable the families to be compensated for their unimaginable losses. With proper investigation, the family and friends will find answers.

Scott Bonebrake is a personal injury attorney in Media, PA, and has been a licensed attorney for 24 years. Please feel free to contact Scott if you have any legal questions, including those regarding construction accidents. You can reach Scott at 610-892-7700, or at sbonebrake@noelandbonebrake.com.