On the day before the two-year anniversary of the deadly crane collapse that killed five in Kelowna, the company responsible for the setup and takedown of the equipment has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the crane, alleging negligence and a “dangerous defect.”
The company responsible for the operation and set up of the crane, Stemmer Construction, has also been named as the defendant and has been accused of negligence in multiple other lawsuits filed by those impacted by the disaster.
Liebherr, the company that manufactured the crane along with multiple unnamed people and companies is named in the civil suit that was officially filed on July 11, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, one day before the end of the filing window closure.
The suit names Liebherr-Canada Ltd., Liebherr-Canada LTEE, Liebherr-International AG, Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH, three unnamed companies, who are referred to as ABC Company 1, ABC Company 2, ABC Company 3, and three unnamed people who are referred to as John Doe 1, John Doe 2, John Doe 3.
Stemmer purchased the tower crane from Liebherr in 2018. The company designed, manufactured and created the operator manual for the crane.
On July 12, 2021, the tower crane was being operated by Stemmer Construction on a project in downtown Kelowna when it collapsed, killing five men and causing significant property damage.
The lawsuit alleges that the deadly incident was caused by the “negligence of the defendants.”
The specifics of the alleged negligence are not listed in the lawsuit and are pending the results of WorkSafeBC and RCMP investigations.
Stemmer Construction also alleges that the tower crane and manual contained a dangerous defect, which led to the incident. The lawsuit alleges that Liebherr knew about the defect before the collapse and failed to warn users of the crane, including Stemmer.
The construction is asking for relief for damages, costs and losses associated with the incident. No monetary amount has been requested in the lawsuit.