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Families of two Seattle crane collapse victims sue companies tasked with dismantling crane

The families of Sarah Wong, 19, and Alan Justad, 71, filed wrongful death lawsuits in King County Superior Court in December seeking unspecified damages.

Editor's note: The above video previously aired on KING 5 in 2019.

Two families are suing the companies connected to a deadly crane collapse in Seattle that killed four people and injured others.

On April 27, 2019, a tower crane fell across a Google office building under construction and into the lanes of traffic along Mercer Street in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

Debris from the collapse struck several vehicles below, including a car carrying 19-year-old Sarah Wong, a freshman at Seattle Pacific University, who died from her injuries.

Her parents filed one of several lawsuits in King County Superior Court in December seeking unspecified damages for their daughter’s death.

Alan Justad, 71, a long-time city of Seattle employee was also struck and killed by falling debris from the collapse while he was in his vehicle on Mercer Street. Justad’s three daughters are also seeking damages for their father’s death.

The lawsuits filed in King County Superior Court are against Morrow Equipment Company, GLY Construction, Northwest Tower Crane Service, Omega Morgan and Seaburg Construction, the companies responsible for dismantling the crane.

Two other people, Ali Edriss and Sally Beaven, are also jointly suing the same five companies for injuries they received as a result of the collapse.

Also killed in the collapse were two ironworkers, Travis Corbet, 33, and Andrew Yoder, 31, who were disassembling the crane when it fell, but lawsuits on their behalf have not yet been filed.

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) investigated the collapse in the months after and determined it was caused by the companies not following the manufacturer’s procedures for dismantling the structure. Those procedures included prematurely removing nearly all the pins and sleeves that helped hold the crane together.

The early removal of those pins caused the crane to break off and fall when it was hit with a 45 mph gust of wind, according to officials.

L&I fined three of the five crane companies more than $100,000 for the violations that led to the deadly collapse. The Seattle Police Department is also continuing to investigate the collapse.

Read more about the Seattle crane collapse: 

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