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STFBC Representing Family in Fatal I-95 Crane Collapse

On December 5, 2022, a crane collapsed on Southbound I-95 near the Broward Boulevard exit. As a result of the collapse, a piling struck a man-lift holding two workers. That man-lift came crashing down, killing Joseph Bienaime and injuring another construction worker.

Mr. Bienaime is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

The family retained the law firms Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A. and Brumer & Brumer P.A. to investigate the cause of the collapse and to hold accountable those at fault.

Following their investigation, the Bienaime family’s attorneys filed a wrongful death case against The De Moya Group, Inc. and four individuals working on the construction site at the time of the incident.

“Florida’s workers’ compensation laws can often deter victims of construction accidents from seeking justice in court. Our firm has successfully navigated the various exceptions to the law to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” explained Michael Levine.

According to the lawsuit, The De Moya Group was performing construction along I-95 and attempting to place a piling alongside the highway. The defendants used a crane with a mounted pile driver to drive the piling into the ground. A footing had to be created upon which the crane would sit. To do that, the defendants dumped a pile of soil onto the ground, then inappropriately used a construction vehicle to compact the fill and stabilize the footing rather than using the appropriate compaction tools. Unfortunately, the materials used by the defendants to build the footing were inadequate. Even worse, the defendants failed to properly inspect and test the footing to ensure it was sturdy enough to support the large crane and its load.

As a result, the footing could not support the weight of the crane and its load, causing it to become unstable and rock back and forth while it attempted to drive the hammer deeper into the ground. This led the hammer to improperly strike the piling, causing it to crack and fall onto the man-lift in which Mr. Bienaime and another individual were working. The man-lift came crashing down to the ground, killing Mr. Bienaime.

“This incident was no accident. It was a completely avoidable tragedy. If the defendants had simply done their job correctly without cutting corners, Mr. Bienaime would still be alive. It was cavalier and, frankly, amateur for The De Moya Group and its employees to do what they did here,” said A. Dax Bello.