Kherkher Garcia Files Lawsuit Following Fatal Crane Collapse at Houston Cement Plant

by | May 20, 2024 | Back Injury, Catastrophic Injury, Construction Injury, Crane Injuries, Personal Injury

Texas personal injury law firm, Kherkher Garcia, LLP, has initiated legal proceedings against Sesco Cement, ASI Industrial, Lampson International, and McRay Crane & Rigging in response to a deadly crane collapse at Sesco’s cement plant during a severe storm on May 16, 2024.

The tragic incident occurred at the intersection of Wingate and 75th Street, where a crane fell, crushing two cement trucks. This catastrophe resulted in the death of one cement worker and left another, Crosby Ware of Houston, with catastrophic injuries. Represented by Kherkher Garcia, Ware suffered severe traumatic injuries when the crane collapsed onto his truck, severely impacting his head, neck, and back. Despite the severity of his injuries, Ware miraculously survived the incident.

Details of the Crane Collapse Incident

The National Weather Service had issued warnings about a severe storm set to hit Houston, with forecasts predicting potentially devastating impacts. Winds near Baytown and Galena Park reached speeds between 90 and 100 mph. The lawsuit asserts that the defendants were fully aware of these weather warnings and the inherent risks of operating cranes under such conditions. Cranes are typically equipped with wind meters to monitor wind speeds and ensure safe operation, providing operators and safety personnel with real-time data to manage crane activities effectively.

Despite the known dangers, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants chose to continue their operations without taking necessary safety precautions. Ware was required to deliver cement to the plant for ongoing construction despite the hazardous weather. The lawsuit claims that no measures were taken to ensure the safety of the premises or the workers.

Allegations of Negligence

Kherkher Garcia contends that the defendants exhibited gross negligence by prioritizing profit over safety.

These companies demonstrated a brazen disregard for human life by making a conscious decision to value profit over safety during a severe storm the entire region was warned about,” said Kevin Haynes, a partner at Kherkher Garcia, LLP. “It is beyond despicable that the defendants took no actions to provide a safe work environment with catastrophic results for Mr. Ware and his family.

The firm argues that the defendants’ failure to halt crane operations during the storm led directly to Ware’s severe injuries. Haynes emphasized that the companies’ reckless actions during dangerous weather conditions have irrevocably altered Ware’s life, necessitating extensive medical treatment and recovery.

Pursuit of Justice

Kherkher Garcia is committed to seeking justice for Crosby Ware.

We are determined to aggressively fight for our client and ensure that all wrongdoers are held accountable and recover maximum damages,” Haynes stated.

The lawsuit aims to hold Sesco Cement, ASI Industrial, Lampson International, and McRay Crane & Rigging responsible for their alleged negligence and to secure compensation for Ware’s injuries and diminished quality of life.

This case highlights the critical importance of adhering to safety protocols, especially during severe weather, to prevent such tragic accidents from occurring in the future.

If your family is battling the aftermath of an injury or death due to negligence and severe weather, the attorneys at Kherkher Garcia want to help. Call us today at 713-333-1030 to see how we can help you pursue justice and compensation.

What are the Requirements for Crane Safety During High Winds?

Crane safety during high winds is governed by various regulations and standards to ensure the safe operation of cranes and protect workers and the surrounding environment. Here are some key requirements and best practices for crane safety during high wind conditions:

Regulatory Standards

  • OSHA Regulations (Occupational Safety and Health Administration):
    • 29 CFR 1926.1431: OSHA regulations stipulate that crane operations must cease if wind speeds exceed the limits specified by the crane manufacturer.
    • Wind Speed Limitations: Generally, cranes should not be operated when wind speeds exceed 20 mph, but specific limits can vary based on the crane type and manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • ANSI/ASME Standards (American National Standards Institute / American Society of Mechanical Engineers):
    • ASME B30.5-2021: This standard provides guidelines on mobile and locomotive cranes, including wind speed limits for safe operation.
    • ASME B30.3-2021: This standard covers tower cranes, specifying wind speed limits and operational precautions.

Manufacturer Guidelines

  • Crane-Specific Instructions: Manufacturers provide detailed guidelines on the maximum wind speeds at which their cranes can operate safely. These limits are based on the design and structural capabilities of the crane.
  • Wind Meter Usage: Cranes are often equipped with anemometers (wind meters) to provide real-time wind speed data to the operator.

Safety Measures and Best Practices

  • Pre-Operation Planning:
    • Weather Monitoring: Constant monitoring of weather forecasts and real-time wind conditions is crucial. Operations should be planned around predicted weather conditions to avoid high wind periods.
    • Site Assessment: Evaluate the crane setup area for potential wind effects, including open areas where wind speeds might be higher.
  • Operational Controls:
    • Wind Speed Monitoring: Continuously monitor wind speeds during crane operation. If wind speeds approach the operational limits, crane activities should be suspended.
    • Load Reduction: Reduce the size and weight of loads being lifted if wind speeds are increasing but still within allowable limits.
    • Boom Positioning: Position the crane boom in a direction that minimizes wind impact when the crane is not in use, usually by laying it down or securing it.
  • Emergency Procedures:
    • Shutdown Protocols: Establish clear procedures for safely shutting down crane operations if wind speeds exceed safe limits.
    • Securing the Crane: Secure the crane by locking the slewing brake, lowering the boom, and taking other necessary steps to stabilize the crane.
  • Training and Competence:
    • Operator Training: Ensure that crane operators are adequately trained in recognizing and responding to hazardous wind conditions.
    • Safety Drills: Conduct regular safety drills to prepare the team for emergency shutdown procedures due to high winds.

Documentation and Compliance

  • Inspection Records: Maintain detailed records of crane inspections, including checks on wind meters and other safety devices.
  • Compliance Audits: Regularly audit crane operations for compliance with safety standards and regulations.

Adhering to regulatory standards, following manufacturer guidelines, implementing robust safety measures, and ensuring proper training and emergency preparedness are essential for crane safety during high winds. These practices help mitigate the risks associated with crane operations in adverse weather conditions and ensure the safety of workers and the surrounding area.

When Can I File a Lawsuit for Crane Injuries Due to Severe Weather?

Filing a lawsuit for crane injuries due to severe weather depends on several factors, including the specifics of the incident, the parties involved, and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Here are the key steps and considerations for determining when and how you can file such a lawsuit:

Conditions for Filing a Lawsuit

  • Negligence and Liability: Determine if there was negligence involved, such as failure to follow safety protocols, improper maintenance of the crane, or inadequate weather monitoring. Potentially liable parties could include employers, crane operators, manufacturers, or third-party contractors.
  • Weather Conditions: Establish if the severe weather was a foreseeable risk and if appropriate precautions were taken. This includes checking if there were warnings issued by weather services and if safety measures were implemented accordingly.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Check if there was non-compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations or other relevant safety standards.

Types of Claims

  • Personal Injury Claim: This is the most common type of lawsuit for crane injuries, where you seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Workers’ Compensation Claim: If the injury occurred at work, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which cover medical bills and a portion of lost wages but typically do not include pain and suffering.
  • Product Liability Claim: If the crane malfunctioned due to a defect, you might file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor.

Filing the Lawsuit

  • Consult an Attorney: Engage a personal injury attorney experienced in construction accidents or workplace injuries. They can help assess the merits of your case and guide you through the legal process.
  • Statute of Limitations: Be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in your state. This is the deadline by which you must file your lawsuit, typically ranging from one to several years from the date of the incident.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect all medical records, incident reports, witness testimonies, and any other relevant documentation to support your case.

Outcome and Compensation

  • Compensation: If successful, you may receive compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Appeals: Either party can appeal the court’s decision if there are grounds to do so.

You can file a lawsuit for crane injuries due to severe weather once you establish that negligence or failure to adhere to safety protocols contributed to the incident. Consulting with a specialized attorney as soon as possible will help ensure that you meet all legal deadlines and build a strong case for compensation.

Free Injury Consultation with Kherkher Garcia

If your family is facing a tragic injury or death, and you believe that negligence was the cause, contact Kherkher Garcia today. Let our team of skilled personal injury attorneys help you explore your legal rights and any options you may have to pursue compensation. At Kherkher Garcia, we believe in protecting the rights of those injured or killed by negligence, and helping their families see justice served. As with the victim of this tragic crane collapse, we will help you pursue the best avenue possible toward recovery.

Start your free injury consultation by calling us at 713-333-1030, or submit our online form.



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Kevin Haynes

Kevin Haynes

Firm Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Firm Partner Kevin Haynes. Kevin has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 15 years. He has won $150 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. Kevin is powerful and effective in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work or on the road.

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