Distracted Elevator Operator Collides with Welder


In April 2017 at a multi-employer construction site in San Francisco, an operator of a construction elevator for Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. crashed into a nearby scissor lift operated by JM. At the time, JM was standing on the scissor lift’s extension deck, welding a steel plate in the path of the hoist. The impact of the crash pushed JM’s scissor lift upwards, pushing JM’s head into the cement ceiling above.

Plaintiff Allegations

Plaintiff argued that Bigge was at fault for the incident, given the Bigge employee’s lack of training, distracted state, and disregard for safety rules. Defendants argued that plaintiff placed himself in the path of the hoist, and should have been accompanied by a “spotter” to warn him of the hazard. Defendants also claimed that plaintiff should have personally asked the Bigge operator to stop running the hoist before welding.


JM sustained serious injuries as a result of the incident, including postconcussion syndrome, dizziness, and cervical spine stenosis.


The Veen Firm obtained a $2.45M settlement for JM in November 2021.

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