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Woman's husband allegedly crushed by crane

By Molly English-Bowers | Mar 29, 2016

BELLEVILLE – The wife of a man who was killed at his construction job claims her husband was crushed by a defective crane.

Kaci Jokerst, as personal representative of the estate of Justin D. Jokerst, filed the suit March 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against The Manitowoc Company Inc., Manitowoc Cranes LLC and R.G. Brinkmann Company, doing business as Brinkmann Constructors.

A portion of Monitowoc's business is selling cranes. Brinkmann is a general contractor that constructs buildings and was the general contractor for the Worldwide Technology Logistics Center in Edwardsville where the decedent was killed.

On Jan. 12, 2012, Justin Jokerst and his co-workers were disassembling the crane in question at the direction of Brinkmann, the suit says. While Jokerst was removing boom connector pins from a section of the crane's boom assembly, the assembly allegedly hinged and collapsed on top of him. He was crushed and killed in the incident, the suit alleges.

The counts against both Manitowoc defendants include wrongful death and survival action—strict liability, negligence, and willful and wanton conduct. According to the complaint, the crane was defective and unreasonably dangerous to the user at the time.

As for Brinkmann, the suit alleges the company was negligent by failing to supervise the job site, failing to maintain a safe job site, failing to properly assess the safety risks posed to workers at the job site and failing to properly train employees to disassemble the crane.

The plaintiff, on behalf of herself and the decedent's three children, seeks judgment against the three defendants for each of 10 counts for an amount in excess of $50,000, court costs and any other relief the court deems proper. She also demands a jury trial.

She is represented by John G. Simon and Kevin M. Carnie Jr. of The Simon Law Firm PC in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-132

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