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Fort Lauderdale crane collapse triggers $50M Lawsuit: Safety sacrificed for cost-cutting?

A legal battle unveils alleged safety compromises in the Fort Lauderdale crane collapse

In the wake of the devastating crane collapse that shook downtown Fort Lauderdale, Gemmalyn Castillo, a victim left with severe brain damage, is now fighting back in court, seeking more than $50 million in damages. As the legal battle unfolds, details emerge of alleged negligence and a chilling disregard for safety measures, painting a troubling picture of the construction practices surrounding the ill-fated project.

Leading the crane collapse litigation: Goldberg & Rosen P.A.Trial Attorneys

Notably, the legal team representing Castillo is led by Goldberg & Rosen P.A. Trial Attorneys, a firm with a track record of tackling high-profile cases such as personal injury cases involving construction disasters. It's worth mentioning that they were the lead counsel in the Surfside collapse case as well, lending their expertise and experience to seek justice for victims of such tragedies.

Goldberg & Rosen P.A. Trial Attorneys now representing Castillo have zeroed in on five companies allegedly linked to the April 4 crane collapse incident, which claimed the life of a construction worker and left three others, including Castillo, injured.

Among the defendants named in the crane collapse lawsuit are prominent players in the construction industry:

▪ Kast Construction, headquartered in West Palm Beach, served as the primary general contractor for the project, overseeing the hiring and supervision of numerous subcontractors.

▪ Maxim Crane Works, based in Georgia, supplied crane rentals and heavy lifting equipment, in addition to other services crucial for the project's operations.

▪ Phoenix Rigging & Erecting, located in Kentucky, contributed specialized engineering expertise in heavy transportation to support the project's construction.

▪ CG Riverwalk assumed the role of the residential complex's owner, overseeing the overall development and management of the property.

▪ Gables Residential Services acted as the developer responsible for the planning and execution of the building's construction.

The legal team paints a stark picture of the events leading up to the collapse, citing a series of alleged oversights and corner-cutting measures. According to attorney Brett M. Rosen, the construction activities, particularly around the assembly and maintenance of the crane, were carried out with a "reckless disregard for human life and safety." It's a damning accusation that implicates not only the companies directly involved but also raises questions about the broader culture within the construction industry.

“She’s been diagnosed with organic brain damage, permanent scarring to her face, and has undergone significant psychological treatment.”

Attorney Brett M. Rosen of Goldberg & Rosen P.A. Trial Attorneys

Reckless disregard for safety leads to negligence and tragedy

The most damning of all is the suggestion that safety was sacrificed in a tug-of-war over costs. Reports indicate tension between the developer, CG Riverwalk, and the general contractor, Kast Construction, over financial matters.

"The developer wanted to pay less, the general contractor wanted more, and the only thing sacrificed was safety."

Attorney Judd G. Rosen managing partner of Goldberg & Rosen Trial Attorneys

They neglected to examine the crane, devise a safety strategy for redirecting traffic during crane assembly, and neglected to seek closure of the bridge for construction purposes. In the aftermath of the tragedy, scrutiny has intensified, with both public and regulatory bodies demanding answers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched investigations into Kast Construction, Phoenix Rigging & Erecting, and Maxim Crane Works. Yet, as these cases unfold, the spotlight remains firmly fixed on the fundamental question of accountability.

As Gemmalyn Castillo fights for justice, her case serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of negligence in the pursuit of profit. In a cityscape dotted with construction cranes, it's a wake-up call to prioritize safety above all else, lest tragedy strike again.

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