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Re: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue
From: "Mike, K6BR" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 15:55:55 -0700
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This sounds like you need some advice from Ted K6XN:)

Unfortunately in my experience when you do try to intervene, they then tell
you to leave it to them, either way you lose.


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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