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Lebanon attorney files suit in crane collapse

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From Post staff reports

Lebanon attorney Keith Williams has filed a lawsuit on behalf of his client for injuries received when a crane being used in the new bridge construction on Highway 109 over the Cumberland River collapsed.

The incident occurred on May 21 on the Gallatin side of the Hwy. 109 bridge work on South Water Avenue at the construction site of a smaller bridge that crosses Bulls Creek, north of the much larger bridge that crosses the Cumberland at the Wilson-Sumner County line.

A spokesperson for the Gallatin Police Department said at the time the crane was on a barge when it fell on to the vehicle.

Williams said the lawsuit was filed in Gallatin on behalf of the driver of that vehicle, Carroll Lee Williams of Wilson County, due to the injuries received when the crane, owned and operated by Mountain States Contractors, collapsed.

"We maintain that due to the negligence and recklessness of Mountain States Contractors, our client suffered severe damages, Williams said.

The suit alleges that Mountain States Contractors has a history of serious violations of safety requirements and regulations which govern operations of the type in which the company operates.

In addition to the injuries suffered by Carroll Lee Williams, four other people have been killed in accidents since 2005 related to work being done by Mountain States Contractors, LLC, and/or its affiliated companies, the attorney said.

Mountain States Contractors, LLC, is a North Carolina limited liability company, the suit said, which does business in Tennessee and has a principal office on Old Lebanon Dirt Road in Mt. Juliet.

The company, and its affiliated companies, Britton Bridge, LLC; Jones Bros., Inc. and HMA Contractors Inc., were cited by TOSHA, or the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in an accident that occurred on Elm Hill Pike and Briley Parkway in Nashville on Dec. 1, 2005, in which one person was killed.

In addition, the lawsuit said, a worker for Mountain States was killed at a jobsite in Memphis on Nov. 12, 2010.

And two workers with Britton Bridge were killed, the suit said, in 2011 on a bridge construction project in Knoxville that Mountain States was also working on.

Britton Bridge and Mountain States were suspended by the Tennessee Department of Transportation from all state bids after the fatalities in 2011. The firms later submitted compliance agreements to increase safety at their companies and affiliated companies.

The lawsuit noted that Carroll Lee Williams was injured in the incident where the crane collapsed and has had and will have medical bills. In addition, the incident damaged his vehicle.

The suit seeks punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury.

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