$2,500,000 :: MaGee v. Challenge – Cook Brothers, Inc.

SETTLEMENT : Construction worker killed in accident that his father witnessed

What is the life of a 31-year-old father of three worth? How do you compensate a father for the preventable death of his son?  A widow and children for the loss of their husband and father?

To be honest, there isn’t any amount that could compensate for the loss of a husband, father, and son. Lucius MaGee Jr.’s life ended when a 90-foot boom broke free, falling onto him and crushing his chest. His father, Lucius Sr., was able to pull the boom off of his son, and held Lucius Jr. as his life slipped away.

The boom, manufactured by Challenge-Cook Brothers Inc. and owned by L.A. Concrete Pumping Inc., had been rented out despite having serious known structural flaws.

“Two years before the death, the manufacturer became aware of other accidents caused by welding defects in some 100 booms they had sold to contractors throughout the United States and Canada. They issues notices to customers who purchased the booms, warning them of possible death, injury, or property loss if they were rented out in their present state, [Larry] Booth said. Challenge-Cook offered to pay repair costs and recommended action be taken within 10 working days.”

The warning was issued seven days before Lucius Jr. lost his life.

The owner of the boom continued to rent out the boom knowing it was defective and could cause deaths because “the warning was not strong enough and failed to convey the proper sense of urgency.” said an attorney representing L.A. Concrete. The company claimed that Challenge-Cook Brothers Inc. should have requested that the owners shut down the equipment at once.

The wrongful death lawsuit settled for $2.5 million before going to court. The amount was intended to be invested to provide a lifetime of income for the family of Lucius MaGee Jr.

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