Two Seattle companies involved in erecting a construction crane that collapsed in Bellevue in 2006 have settled with the parents of a man who was killed when the crane crushed him as he sat in his apartment.
The case had been scheduled to go to trial this month, with attorneys for the parents, Kathleen Gaberson and Larry Ammon, arguing that all companies were negligent in their roles in the installation, design and operation of the crane.
The 210-foot crane was being used to construct the Tower 333 building in downtown Bellevue. It came crashing down on two buildings, the Pinnacle BelleCentre, where Ammon lived, and Plaza 305.
MKA was in charge of the structural engineering of the crane while Lease Crutcher Lewis was the general contractor overseeing the operation. State investigators fined Lease Crutcher Lewis and MKA for improper design and construction of the crane, but the citation against MKA was thrown out on appeal earlier this month.
In an unusual arrangement, the crane had been attached to steel I-beams in an underground parking garage left over from an earlier, unfinished construction project on the site.
After the crane was cut up and removed, its replacement was attached to a concrete pad on the ground, the traditional way to anchor a construction crane.
Matthew Knopp, a Seattle attorney representing Ammon’s parents, said a tipping point in the case happened last week, on the eve of trial, when MKA admitted some liability in the collapse, though it also continued to point blame at Lease Crutcher Lewis for its role.
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