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Strasius Obtains Summary Judgment on Behalf of a Crane Company in High Exposure Case

April 11, 2014

Anthony P. Strasius (Partner-Miami) obtained summary judgment on behalf of a crane company in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, negligence, professional negligence and gross negligence. The plaintiff was seeking a demand in excess of $2 million.

Wilson Elser's client was retained to provide inspections of cranes being used at a recycling facility, and after a crane collapsed, the plaintiff County filed suit alleging that the defendant had failed to observe corrosion and cracks in various structural components. However, the County did not properly file its action as subrogee of several insurance companies, and defense counsel was able to elicit testimony from a representative of the plaintiff that the County had not paid for anything relating to the crane collapse, and therefore had not suffered any damages. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court agreed, rejecting the County's argument that a subrogation action had been properly filed. The County is now past its statute of limitations for attempting to re-file its action and has been precluded from using any "relation back" argument to revive its lawsuit. The County was seeking over $2 million for the replacement cost of the crane and pre-judgment interest.

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