$17 Million Settlement Reached in Death of Electrician Crushed by a Crane Hook

Adam Nowak was installing electrical equipment at an energy plant when a crane hook fell about 60 feet from an overhead crane, which struck and killed him. Mr. Nowak was an electrician working for Matrix Service Co., and he was installing electrical equipment at the Veolia Energy’s Schuylkill Steam Plant. 

The lawsuit for the wrongful death of Mr. Nowak was brought by his wife, Michele Nowak, and filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The defendants in the case included Veolia, which owned the crane, and Permadur Industries, which was contracted to do repairs and annual inspections of the crane. Another defendant in the case, Kenny Construction Co., was the contractor of Mr. Nowak’s employer. 

The lawsuit alleged that Veolia was negligent for choosing not to correctly maintain the crane’s limit switch, which was designed to prevent “two-blocking,” a design feature that is used when a crane hook is raised too high. In this case, when the crane hook was raised too high, the cable holding the hook snapped and the hook fell to the ground, killing Mr. Nowak. 

According to the lawsuit, the defendants chose not test the limit switch on a daily basis and chose not to train Veolia workers to perform these daily tests. Veolia was also alleged to have ignored federal regulations and its own safety policies, which were contributing factors in this horrific incident resulting in a death. Veolia also was alleged to have failed to fix a safety device, which it knew was in disrepair. 

The lawsuit was settled with Veolia contributing $15 million, Permadur  $1.5 million and Kenny Construction  $500,000.

In addition to leaving Michele Nowak, his wife, Adam Nowak is survived by two young children in the marriage with Michele Nowak and three other children from a previous marriage.

The attorney representing the Nowak family was Robert J. Mongeluzzi.

Nowak v. Veolia Energy, et al.

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling construction worker injury cases, work injury cases and wrongful death actions for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Chicago (Avondale, Bridgeport, East Village, Humboldt Park, Jackson Park, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Pilsen, Old Town, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village, Ukrainian Village), Aurora, Joliet, Burbank, Crestwood, Rosemont, Forest Park, Geneva, St. Charles, Flossmoor, Lindenhurst and Lombard, Ill.

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