Carson v. All Erection & Crane Rental Co, No. 14-3243 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
ALL leased a crane to White Construction. Carson worked for White, providing general maintenance and serving as the “eyes and ears” of crane operator Dowell. Carson and Dowell were told to move the crane to a wind turbine platform several miles away. As the crane approached a road with overhead power lines. Carson signaled for Dowell to stop at the base of some wood matting placed to help the crane cross the road. Dowell stopped, but the crane began moving again, onto the matting where Carson was standing. As the crane pushed one end down, the other end rose. Carson slid down the slope. The crane’s treads crushed his foot, which had to be amputated. Dowell testified that he took the crane out of its “travel detent,” meaning that the crane should not have moved. The crane was inspected by Scholl, hired by White, and by a crane mechanic employed by ALL. Both concluded that the crane had moved forward because a malfunction in the controls caused the throttles to re‐engage without action by Dowell. The problem was intermittent and difficult to replicate and to detect. In his negligence suit, Carson argued that ALL had a duty to reasonably inspect the crane upon delivering it to White. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment, finding no evidence that ALL’s alleged breach was the proximate cause of Carson’s injury.