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[TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue

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Subject: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue
From: "Vic" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 18:41:32 -0400
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Perhaps some of you maybe able to help me on this one -- and some of the info 
contained within may be useful to others as a lesson of "things to watch out 
for" ..

I contracted with a crane company that I've done business with before to set my 
88 feet of Heights Aluminium tower -- I had the heliax and yagis on all bands, 
6 - 1296, on the tower and ready to lift -- there was some discussion before 
the lift with the crane operator & I regarding the method of attaching the 
sling, the placement of the sling & the position of the truck .. I deferred all 
the questions of the operator back to him & the company, telling him, "you're 
the expert, you do as you think, if you don't know call someone" .. which he 
did NEXTEL someone whom I presume to be the supervisor.. then the operator 
positioned the truck & boom at about a 30 degree angle to the tower, he 
positioned the sling about halfway up the tower & he used a "choker" sling, 
attaching the strap around all three legs and then tying a noose like knot.. 
then attaching the hook and ball -- 

We were within 6 inches of full vertical and inserting the bolts in the base 
legs when it looked as though the tower was being pulled at an angle to the 
base, the operator went to straighten the boom to position it in line with the 
structure when the boom jerked about two feet in a right to left motion -- it 
sounded like the hydraulics had failed -- the load steadied and as the operator 
moved the tower closer to the upright position and almost vertical the tower 
snapped at the sling point, fell and destroyed the top half, all the heliax & 
antennas -- 

That's history -- I've since been told a "choker" sling is NOT proper to lift a 
tower - two slings are to be used around back legs; the sling should have been 
positioned about 1/3 from the top of the tower, not near the middle; and the 
position of the truck was questionable as the operator did not have full vision 
of the load .. 

I've tried to file on my homeowners and after Allstate said it was covered, 
called back in less than 3 minutes saying, "sorry we made a mistake" it was not 
covered .. the crane owner has now told me,  as far as he was concerned .. "you 
approved the lifting of the tower with the rigging and placement of the sling, 
therefore we are not responsible.. if you had any concerns, then you should 
have been the one to stop the lift.".. he went on to say that statement, "falls 
within the contract" -- (statement of terms & conditions on the back of the 
time on property sheet) ... 

To me that's like saying I would not have had the wreck after you run the stop 
sign if I hadn't been on the road when you hit me -- it's always the "Clinton 
speak" .. no one takes responsibility for anything -- "it's just doing 
business" .. 

I called a professional tower installer for an estimate of damage if I decide 
to take the owner of the crane company to court and the tower guy had a heart 
attack on the way here -- the lawyer I was going to use now says he has a 
conflict of interest as one of his partners has done work in the past for the 
crane company -- it's almost like a dark comedy -- 

And the crane truck broke the concrete on my driveway on the way out after I 
asked, but it was never accomplished, to put down boards to prevent the 
breakage -- 

I've lost two years of time & resources for this project and it has amounted to 
nothing -- I detest doing business in the court system - I have ethics --  so 
the questions are this -- do any of you know of any way I can attempt to get 
relief from the crane company without the expense of a long drawn out court 
battle ?? -- or are there any lawyers who specialize in crane accidents like 
this ?? -- or should I just "suck it up" and "get on with it" ??

The only positive thing is, no one was hurt or killed .. and if there is a next 
time I guess I'll do it the old way - climb --

Cheers de Vic WB4SLM EM82dp 

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