E-Crane caused Beelman worker's injuries, suit says

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 16, 2007, 3:49am

A Caseyville man who was permanently injured when he was struck by an E-Crane filed suit against Beelman Truck Company, Frank Beelman, Fabick and Company and E-Crane International in Madison County Circuit Court.

Steve Alesi, an employee of Beelman River Terminal in Venice, claims the E-Crane was in a defective condition and unreasonably dangerous. While assisting in moving a barge he was struck by the E-Crane causing him to suffer severe personal injuries, the complaint states.

An E-Crane is an all-hydraulic crane using the balance principal of equilibrium for handling bulk materials like coal, limestone, ore, and scrap metal at ports, harbors and scrap-processing facilities.

Alesi claims the E-Crane was improperly designed and manufactured, was equipped with a metal plate at the bottom of the cab so that the glass in the cab does not run all the way to the bottom which obstructs the operator's view.

He also claims the crane was improperly illuminated as four lights did not properly light the work area. He claims the crane was not equipped to stop automatically and the electronic sensors were improperly designed because they could not prevent continuous movement of the boom at a defined moment.

Alesi further claims the hoist feature was improperly designed and manufactured because it did not move the bucket without producing "jumpy or abrupt motions."

"The E-Crane was being used in a manner reasonably anticipated when it caused Steve Alesi's injuries," the complaint states.

He claims E-Crane failed to give an adequate warning of the dangers associated with its use.

Alesi claims prior to the accident, Beelman employees inspected, serviced and repaired the E-crane on several occasions and in doing so negligently failed to install all of the E-Crane components.

Alesi also claims Beelman failed to properly complete ground preparation, platform set up and signage placement on the Beelman River Terminal so that crane operators could operate the crane in a safe manner.

He also claims Beelman failed to make repairs after numerous reports of problems with the crane, including to the hydraulic hoist system.

Alesi claims he sustained injuries to his wrist, arm, forearm, shoulder, hand and elbow which caused medical expenses, lost wages, disability and disfigurement, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Represented by Michael Bilbrey of Edwardsville, Alesi is seeking damages in excess of $650,000. plus costs.

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