October 18, 2017
A $6.5 million settlement was reached between the family of Wesley Sherwood and two defendants, B.S. Quarries, Inc. and equipment manufacturer Lippmann-Milwaukee Inc., the Times-Leader reports. The quarry agreed to pay $4 million, and the equipment manufacturer agreed to pay $2.5 million.
Sherwood, a 22-year-old employee at a B.S. Quarries Inc. operation in Lanesboro, Pa., was killed on December 15, 2011, while operating a rock crusher. He fell into the an operating jaw crusher, suffering fatal injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Sherwood’s family filed a lawsuit against the quarry and the crusher manufacturer.
Michael J. Pisanchyn Jr. from the Pisanchyn Law Firm, said the settlement offers came in October 11, 2017, after a jury was chosen for the civil trial. “The defendants clearly felt the impending doom and that a jury would most likely award tens of millions of dollars with Pisanchyn bringing in six world renowned experts to testify for what was scheduled for a three week trial,” he told the news agency.
One of Sherwood’s coworkers at the quarry, Mark Baxter, testified that employees were required to climb over the mouth of the rock crusher, which is what Sherwood was doing when he fell. Baxter also testified that the quarry held a secret meeting instructing employees to say they did not see how Sherwood fell into the machine.
“Pisanchyn Law Firm is hopeful that even though Wesley Sherwood’s family had to endure all of this pain and suffering, hopefully the amount of this award will send a message to both the rock crushing industry and the quarry industry as a whole that it must do a better job to protect common workers who operate these crushing machines at quarries throughout the United States,” Pisanchyn Jr. told the news agency.