Attorney Kurt Arnold represented a construction superintendent who sustained catastrophic injuries after a serious crane accident off Memorial Drive in Houston, TX. On the job, Berkel & Company had been hired to drill auger cast pilings. One of their crane operators had been operating a machine owned by Maxim Crane Works while completing deep foundation drilling when the auger became stuck; at that time, a Berkel superintendent instructed the crane operator to attempt to unstick the auger. The operator attempted to stop the job at least five times. The crane eventually collapsed.
At the time of the collapse, our client had been standing behind a safety fence approximately 100 feet from the auger when a piece of crane equipment struck him and pinned him down. It took a crane to lift the equipment off of him. He was then rushed to a hospital where an above-the-knee amputation was performed.
The trial took place over a three week period during which Kurt helped to show the jury that standard safety practices had been violated multiple times by Berkel in an attempt to finish the project quickly. Kurt also argued that Maxim was responsible for poorly inspecting the crane. The jury deliberated and found both companies to be responsible. They awarded damages for medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, physical impairment, physical pain, and mental anguish. They also awarded $8.5 million in punitive damages.
This case was listed #43 in The National Law Journal's Top 100 Verdicts of 2015.