Companies Ordered To Pay for Collapse

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America and Lampson International\r\nLtd. were ordered by a jury to pay $99.2 million to the widows of three ironworkers who died in a crane collapse accident.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America and Lampson International Ltd. were ordered by a jury last week to pay $99.2 million to the widows of three ironworkers who died when a crane collapsed at the construction site of Milwaukee''s new baseball stadium.

According to the verdict, all but $157,500 of the money must be paid by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Both companies were held responsible for the July 1999 accident that killed William DeGrave, Jerome Starr and Jeffrey Wischer.

Mitsubishi was building the stadium''s retractable roof, using a crane called Big Blue and a crew leased from Lampson.

The ironworkers were guiding a 450-ton roof piece into place from a safety basket held aloft by another crane when Big Blue plummeted them to the ground.

Each of the widows will receive $1.7 million for pain and suffering. The verdict also includes $94 million in punitive damages, to be paid entirely by Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi and Lampson have filed claims blaming each other for the accident.

The accident delayed completion of the Milwaukee Brewers'' new stadium by one year and caused $100 million in damage.

The stadium is expected to open in April.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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