Tower climber's estate files wrongful death complaint

Ann Knef Aug. 1, 2007, 11:22am

A wrongful death suit filed on behalf of Daniel Arnold of Alton, killed two years ago in a fall from a from a tower being erected in Butler County, Mo., claims a safety harness manufactured by Klein Tools, Inc. was defectively designed.

Arnold's next of kin, Arthur Arnold, filed suit July 31 in Madison County Circuit Court.

The incident took place Aug. 3, 2005, as Arnold was climbing a tower being erected by his employer, Tower Maintenance & Erection Co. of Illinois, near the intersection of Highway 158 and County Road 323 in Butler County, Mo.

According to the complaint, Arnold was wearing full fall protection, however, the gate keeper on his lanyard snap hook failed and he was caused to fall and die.

"...Plaintiff, while wearing an appropriate safety harness, was using its lanyard to assist him in his climb when the gate keeper of the lanyard snap hook remained open...," the complaint states.

Arnold's suit claims the safety harness did not have adequate instructions as to its use "when defendant knew, or should have known, that such was a hazard to users."

The suit also names as defendant Haun Drop Forge and/or Pensafe, Inc., alleging it designed and manufactured the snap hook and its gate keeper.

Other defendants in the civil lawsuit seeking in excess of $250,000 in damages include Miller Safety and First Aid Products, Elk River and Marcal Rope & Rigging, Inc.

Arnold is represented by Bruce N. Cook of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin of Belleville.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dave Hylla.

07 L 692

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