Nearly 5 years ago a 210-foot construction crane collapsed in Bellevue,
killing one person and seroiusly injuring the crane operator. This week
the crane operator, Warren Yeakey, was awarded $1.45 million by a jury
for economic and noneconomic damages. The award was considerably less
than what Yeakey and his wife asked for in the suit–$12 million.
The Yeakeys say the amount will not cover lost wages and medical costs.
Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries has declared Yeakey
100 percent disabled, and his wife acts as his caregiver. The couple has
four children. The trial lasted about a month, and the jury took about
a week to reach a verdict.
The lawsuit was against Lease Crutcher Lewis, the general contractor, and
Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), the engineering firm that designed
the crane. An investigation into the collapse found fault with the design
of the crane’s base. The jury held Lease Crutcher Lewis 70 percent
at fault and MKA 30 percent. MKA stated that an internal investigation
following the collapse found equal responsibility between MKA and Lease
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