$860 Million Awarded in Crane Collapse Case Against Greystar

a Dallas County jury awarded an $860 million verdict against subsidiaries of Greystar Real Estate Partners. This decision comes in the wake of a tragic 2019 crane collapse that resulted in one fatality and multiple injuries.

The incident, which occurred during a storm in June 2019, involved a construction crane operated by an individual deemed a “borrowed servant” of the global real estate company. The crane disastrously collapsed into an adjacent apartment building, as per the details in the court records.

Residents of the affected building brought allegations against Greystar and Bigge Crane and Rigging, the equipment owner. The accusations included failure to inspect, maintain, and securely test the crane, alongside hiring competent personnel and ensuring safe work practices. The jury, however, found that Greystar alone bore responsibility for the incident.

Brian L. Gardner, the head of the construction services department at Cole Schotz PC, commented on the case’s potential impact on the construction and real estate sectors. Speaking to Law360 in August, Gardner highlighted that the judgment and any subsequent appeals might lead to increased insurance costs and the establishment of more stringent safety regulations within the industry.

Gardner pointed out the need for enhanced crane safety regulations, drawing a comparison with New York City, which has a dedicated department for cranes and derricks, unlike Dallas. He emphasized that such regulations are crucial, especially considering that Texas recorded the highest number of fatal occupational deaths involving cranes in the United States from 2011 to 2017, with a total of 50 fatalities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.