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FL Subcontractor Sues Over Irma-Snapped Cranes

Monday, February 26, 2018

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A Florida subcontractor is suing a Pennsylvania crane company in the fallout of last fall’s Hurricane Irma damage.

In September, when Irma ripped through South Florida, the booms of three cranes—all the same model from Maxim Crane Works—snapped, and were left dangling perilously above several construction projects.

The subcontractor for one of those projects, L&R Structural Corp., is now suing, accusing the crane company with breach of express warranty, breach of lease and product liability, saying that Maxim did not have a sufficient plan in place to prepare the site for a hurricane.

The Lawsuit

Filed earlier this month in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, L&R is asking for $45,000 in damages.

The complaint says that five days before Irma made landfall, Maxim sent L&R its hurricane preparedness plan, which instructed the subcontractor to remove two lower sections of the crane to prevent the equipment from toppling in high winds.

L&R complied with the instruction, supervised by a Maxim official. The boom, however, still snapped, which L&R says was due to Maxim’s negligence. Maxim, however, points to its warranty, which says that the subcontractor is responsible for equipment repairs by accidents, misuse or weather.

After the storm, L&R contacted Maxim to remove the crane but Maxim refused, saying it was L&R’s responsibility.

In response to the lawsuit, Maxim’s vice president of risk management told the Miami Herald that it maintains that L&R was responsible for the damaged property.

There is no word on whether more lawsuits will stem from the other site accidents.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Cranes; Ethics; Good Technical Practice; Lawsuits; North America

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