Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against South Carolina Port and Crane Manufacturer

The family of a worker killed at the Wando Welch Terminal in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., on July 5, 2004 has filed a wrongful death and survival action against crane manufacturer Konecranes Inc. and the South Carolina State Port Authority (SCSPA).

The action, filed against Konecranes by law firm Motley Rice LLC, is for negligence, breach of warranty, strict liability, wrongful death and punitive and exemplary damages. The action against SCSPA is for negligence and wrongful death.

The claim alleges that Konecranes designed and manufactured the overhead crane that landed on and ultimately caused the death of William Edward Holst Jr., who was killed while he was performing his job at the Wando Welch Terminal. According to the lawsuit, Konecranes breached a duty of care owed to Holst. The lawsuit also alleges that SCSPA failed to adopt and implement adequate safety procedures and policies; failed to ensure personnel on site received adequate training and supervision; failed to fulfill its duty of care as a premise owner; and is responsible for the negligence of its employee/agent.

"Ports play a crucial role in our country's and our state's economy. However, safety needs to be made a priority," said Anne Kearse, an attorney with Motley Rice. "We hope that by bringing this suit to court, we will help bring forth the necessary safety changes and regulations."

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