Record $17 Million Settlement for Pennsylvania Widow Resulting from Electrician-Husband’s 2011 Death at Pennsylvania Steam Plant
Philadelphia, PA (February 11, 2013) – A $17 million wrongful workplace death case settlement, believed to be the largest ever in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, has been reached on behalf of the estate of Adam P. Nowak, Sr., a 45-year-old father of five who in June, 2011, was fatally struck by a 300-pound iron hook that fell from a negligently maintained and operated industrial crane at Veolia Energy’s Schuylkill Steam Plant in Grays Ferry. Mr. Nowak’s estate, which filed the civil action (No. 003450) in November 2011, was represented by the Philadelphia-based firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C., which was preparing for a jury trial when it settled with the defendants, including Veolia, over the weekend.
Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who along with David L. Kwass, David J. Langsam and Pat Bianculli worked on the case, stated that this record settlement was “fueled by the tragic death of a great man, an incredible worker, husband, father and union brother and his phenomenal family, all of whom had suffered the enormous loss of his impactful presence in their lives.” Mr. Kwass, who with Mr. Mongeluzzi represents plaintiffs in catastrophic workplace accident matters, added that “this accident did not result from a momentary lapse of inattention. Our investigation revealed that Veolia had failed to inspect its cranes thousands of times before the accident proving that this was not an unforeseeable act, but rather was predictable based on their utter lack of safety inspections.” Mongeluzzi noted that “the plant had a similar two-block accident in 2004, were told their safety limit switches were antiquated and prone to failure and needed to be upgraded. However, Veolia would not spend the $30,000 necessary to upgrade these critical safety devices. Veolia wouldn’t pay the bill and Adam paid with his life.” Mongeluzzi commented.