The widow of an electrician killed in a workplace crane accident in Pennsylvania will receive a record $17 million dollar settlement over the tragic loss of her husband.
On June 23, 2011, Adam Nowak Sr. died as a result of being struck by a 300-pound iron crane hook which fell 60 feet from a “negligently maintained and operated” crane. Nowak had been working at Veolia Energy’s Schuylkill steam plan in Grays Ferry, Pa.for several months installing electrical equipment. Investigation into the incident revealed a systematic failure by Veolia to inspect their cranes, and despite a similar accident in 2004, the company elected not to spend the money necessary to upgrade critical safety devices.
Nowak’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company alleging that the accident was not the result of an unforeseeable act, but rather was a predictable result based on their utter lack of safety inspections. The lawsuit contends that every level of company management consciously disregarded workplace safety, including substantial evidence showing that the company “intentionally disabled the safety limit switch.”
Mr. Nowak is survived by his wife and five children.
–Record Settlement Reached in Death of Electrician Struck by Iron Hook (NBC Philadelphia)
–Workplace wrongful death yields $17 million settlement (The Pennsylvania Record)