LANESBORO — Wesley Sherwood’s family has agreed to a $6.5 million settlement with two companies after he was killed by falling into a rock crusher in 2011.
Sherwood’s estate was represented by the Pisanchyn Law Firm of Scranton, who said in an email Friday that the quarry Sherwood was employed by agreed to pay $4 million, while the manufacturer of the equipment agreed to pay $2.5 million.
Sherwood, 22, an employee at B.S. Quarries Inc., of Lanesboro, Susquehanna County, was killed Dec. 15, 2011, while operating the rock crusher.
Sherwood, of Binghamton, New York, fell into the crusher and suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His estate launched a lawsuit against both the quarry and the company that manufactured the rock crusher, Lippmann-Milwaukee Inc. based in Wisconsin.
According to Michael J. Pisanchyn Jr. from the Pisanchyn Law Firm, the offers came Wednesday after the law firm picked a jury for a 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,” Pisanchyn said in his email.
One of the law firm’s biggest pieces of evidence against the defendants came from another quarry employee, Mark Baxter.
Baxter, according to Pisanchyn, testified that employees were required to climb over the mouth of the rock crusher.
Sherwood fell into the machine while climbing over it, Baxter said.
Baxter went on to testify 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,” said Pisanchyn.
Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan