Defendants Agree to Pay $3.5 Million to Settle Industrial Accident Death Case

Philadelphia, PA (Nov. 6, 2013)—Neil Murray and Thomas Sheridan, partners at Sheridan & Murray, LLC, a respected Philadelphia personal injury firm, reached a settlement at trial involving the death of Ray Doan, Jr. Mr. Doan died on May 2, 2008, while working at a concrete fabrication plant, Advanced Concrete Systems (ACS). The Defendants have agreed to pay the victim’s family $3,500,000.00 in compensatory damages.

In March 2005, ACS hired Defendant Bitterman Scale Co. (Bitterman) to perform a load test of a new concrete bucket, and attached metal link, that would be used to pour concrete at ACS. During the load test, Defendant Bitterman was required to inspect the metal link for information to confirm that it was an approved link to lift up to 7,000 lbs. According to national safety standards set forth by ASTM and ASME, the metal link attached to the bucket was required to have the following specific identification stamped on the link – the manufacturer’s name, the grade of steel and the size. However, the metal link attached to the new concrete bucket at ACS did not contain this information. According to the national safety standards, Defendant Bitterman was required to remove the metal link from the concrete bucket because it was an unapproved link for lifting. Instead, Defendant Bitterman allowed the unsafe and unapproved link to remain on the concrete bucket placing ACS workers, including Ray Doan, Jr., in danger of harm.

On May 2, 2008, while Mr. Doan was working at ACS, the concrete bucket was hoisted above the ground by an overhead crane. At this time, the unsafe metal link broke without warning causing the concrete bucket to fall to the ground. While falling, an attachment to the concrete bucket struck Mr. Doan in the back of his neck causing his death later that day.

Sheridan & Murray filed a wrongful death and survival action lawsuit against several defendants on behalf of Mr. Doan’s family. Theories of liability were asserted against: the Defendant distributors of the overhead crane’s remote control for having inadequate warnings; Defendant Superior Walls of America (SWA) for allowing the unsafe metal link to be used by its franchisee, ACS, during lifting; and, Defendant Bitterman for failing to perform a proper load test of the metal link. In the summer of 2013, settlement was reached with the distributors of the overhead crane’s remote control. In October 2013, ten days before trial, a $1.5 million settlement was reached with Defendant SWA during mediation. On October 23, 2013, after three days of trial, the Plaintiffs settled with the remaining Defendant, Bitterman, for $1.9 million, for a total recovery of $3.5 million for the victim’s family. Christopher Hinderliter, an attorney at Sheridan & Murray, assisted at trial in this case.

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