State clears company investigated for fatal Mercer crane collapse
One of the five contractors the Washington State Department of Labor is investigating after a fatal Seattle crane collapse has officially been cleared.
“L&I has closed our investigation into Seaburg Construction Corporation,” L&I representative Tim Church told KIRO Radio. “We found no violations involving that specific company, and no fines were issued.”
Seaburg was the employer of the tower crane operator working when a crane collapsed across Mercer Street in Seattle in late April. Four people were killed in the collapse, while another three were injured.
The general contractor, the crane provider, and the two companies involved with disassembling the crane are all still under investigation now that Seaburg has been cleared.
L&I said it has “no updated timelines” for how long it will take to look into each remaining company, although it did note that it has six total months to complete the larger investigation, that started in late April.
“The overall investigation is ongoing,” said Church.
An active lawsuit
Meanwhile, a lawsuit against Morrow Equipment — the company that provided the crane from April’s incident — is still active.
The lawsuit was filed just over a month prior to the Mercer crane collapse, alleging that a handful of companies “failed to properly hire, train, and/or supervise their employees with due care and good judgment,” after an elevator attached to a crane fell over 30 feet with a construction worker inside.
The lawsuit specifically cites the failure of those companies to shut down operations during adverse weather conditions.
Additionally, one of the plaintiffs in the case was working on the construction project while employed under Seaburg Construction. It’s worth noting, though, that Seaburg is not a defendant in the lawsuit.