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Narrative Verdict In Battersea Crane Death Inquest

Expert Comments After Verdict


A workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has revealed his concerns after an inquest revealed that two people were killed when a crane collapsed in Battersea.

Michael Alexa and Jonathan Cloake were killed when the crane collapsed at a Barratt Homes site in 2006 and, following a week-long inquest into the incident, a narrative verdict was recorded in relation to their deaths.

During the hearing it was revealed that the collapse was caused when bolts failed due to an overloading of the counterweight, which itself was as a result of the wrong manual being used during its erection.

Reports have suggested the families of both men were disappointed by the Coroner’s decision to rule out any possibility of a verdict of unlawful killing.

Commenting on the case, David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This inquest has highlighted some incredibly worrying issues which simply must not be repeated again.

“The suggestion that this entire incident could have been prevented if the correct manual was used in the building of the crane demonstrates what a terrible tragedy this incident was.

“We act for many victims of construction industry accidents and, like in those cases, it is vital that firms are able to learn lessons from this incident to ensure that the same problems seen here are simply not repeated.”