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Re: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue

To: "Vic" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue
From: "Mac McCullough" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 06:03:17 -0500
List-post: <>
advance the issue a bit further,  IF the crane had in any way been damaged, 
what do you think the owner would have said,   THAT YOU a lowly non 
professional was responsible,  THE OPERATOR is ALWAYS responsible with the 
last word,  if you had asked him to proceed against his advice then you 
would have in effect said ok  im bearing all responsibility,   but that you 
deferred to the operator,  places the responsibility on the operator .. I 
have been using Cranes for 25 years 25 ton -200 ton ,  and have crossed this 
decision point many times ...  never an accident,  but when decisions were 
required the decision to proceed or not was the operators,  if I asked him 
to jeopardize the crane ,  it was never a point past NO !!  if I was only 
jeopardizing my equipment,  the responsibility was always understood it was 
my dime I was playing with,  and had something ever happened ,  I would have 
honored that ...  If indeed you left the full decision as you stated for the 
operator decision,  then therein is also the point of responsibility...

a point of caution, I would be very very reluctant to claim anything under 
my homeowners policy, even if it were honored,  point , at review time 1 of 
2 things,  you wont be renewed,  or a hefty premium increase, based on some 
small modifier of your past experience with the carrier, here in Texas you 
need to save your claim time for really big or catastrophic events.. this 
does not seem to be in that category,  also normally if you want the 
driveway to be protected it is an extra charge in that the crane company 
will send out an additional truck carrying planking to help spread the 
weight as the crane cross's the driveway area... spool or cable ends is 
normal protection for the outriggers and is not a uptick in costing,  but 
planking is an extra cost...

gud luk   mac/mc  w5mc

Located 46 miles due North of the Alamo, and 121 miles due South of the 
Western White House.   see my website at
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Vic" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 5:41 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] to sue or not to sue

> 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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