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No Retrial in Crane Collapse Case

January 31, 2001

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ A judge denied a request by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of America for a retrial in the Miller Park crane collapse case that resulted in a $99.25 million verdict.

``There is more than sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ conduct was reprehensible and grievous,″ Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Dominic Amato told lawyers in the case Tuesday. ``The evidence as it relates to Mitsubishi is overwhelming.″

Last month, jurors awarded nearly $100 million in damages to the widows of three ironworkers killed when a crane collapsed at the Milwaukee Brewers’ new ballpark.

Jurors found Mitsubishi, the roof subcontractor, 97 percent negligent in the accident that killed William DeGrave, Jerome Starr and Jeffrey Wischer.

Lampson International Ltd., which leased the crane and crew to Mitsubishi, also was found negligent but to a much lesser degree.

Amato rejected claims by Mitsubishi lawyers that he had been unfair to them.

Mitsubishi is expected to appeal the verdict.

The five insurance companies that issued policies totaling $104 million in liability coverage argue they are not liable to pay for the damage award against Mitsubishi.

Amato set a hearing for April 20 on the insurance issue.

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