Ammons Law Firm Settles Crane Collapse Claims
For Immediate Release
Contact: The Ammons Law Firm
December 22, 2010 Houston, Tx: The Ammons Law Firm has long been engaged in the fight against corporations whose violations of safety rules result in oftentimes catastrophic injuries to and deaths of workers in Texas and elsewhere. That is why the law firm was retained to represent 22 men and one woman who were injured in the collapse of the second largest crane in the world several years ago in Houston, Texas. Those claims were recently successfully resolved.
On July 18, 2008, Deep South Crane & Rigging Co.’s Versacrane TC 36000 crane collapsed at the Lyondell-Houston Refining refinery in Houston, killing four Deep South employees. The Ammons Law Firm represented workers employed by the general contractor and a subcontractor on the Coker Turnaround Project. The project plan involved the TC 36000 crane lifting and replacing coker drums weighing many hundreds of thousands of pounds.
On the date of the incident, the TC 36000, with a main boom measuring 420 feet in length and a mast measuring 240 feet – and a lifting capacity of over one million pounds – was being readied for the lifting work it was to perform on the project. During efforts to connect the crane’s mast to a massive counterweight tray, the crane’s main boom was moved into too vertical of an angle, called “overhaul,” causing the crane to topple over backwards.
The Ammons Law Firm filed suit on behalf of its clients, alleging that Deep South, located in Baton Rouge, LA, with offices in Houston and Beaumont, was negligent and grossly negligent in causing the crane to collapse. The lawsuit claimed Deep South’s job superintendent ignored company safety policies regarding operations and alarm settings of the crane and was distracted by other activities during the critical time when the crane’s main boom was moved into the catastrophic overhaul position. The suit also claimed the crane’s operator had never operated the crane before the day of its collapse and had not been adequately trained on the TC 36000 crane, violating company training procedures.
The firm’s clients were working in areas closely adjacent to the crane. Some of the workers sustained physical injuries, requiring surgeries (and, in one case, multiple surgeries) and other medical treatment, during their efforts to escape the collapsing crane. Other workers were treated and counseled for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to their fear of the crane falling on them.
The Ammons Law Firm worked tirelessly over the course of more than two years to prosecute its clients’ claims to within a week of trial. The firm’s cases were the first stemming from the crane collapse to involve the extensive pre-trial court filings of witness and trial exhibit lists, motions in limine, and designations of deposition testimony to be presented as evidence at trial. The Ammons Law Firm is committed to doing what it takes to fight successfully for worker safety, whether it be by trial to verdict or by pre-trial settlement of its clients’ cases. A testimonial from one of the firm’s crane collapse clients can be viewed on the firm’s website at ammonslaw.com.
Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm is located in Houston, Texas.