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Settlement in scaffolding collapse: $15 million

The vision was a grand one: to allow visitors to walk across the green-leafed canopy that covered the botanical garden, enabling them to see the plant-life from a radically different perspective.

The reality was much different: one construction worker was killed and 18 others injured in a collapse of scaffolding erected to build the scenic walkway.

Now the construction accident victims have announced they have agreed to a settlement for $15 million in the collapse of the elevated platforms far south of Manhattan, in Atlanta, Georgia.

An attorney for the victims said "the workers and their families are satisfied and they are glad it's behind them." He said the settlement would help to pay for medical bills, lost wages and damages suffered as a result of the fall.

The Canopy Walk scaffolding collapsed nearly three years ago after 100 feet of concrete had been poured over a metal foundation, media sources reported.

Some of the workers fell up to 40 feet to the ground; several sustain severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

The construction worker killed was the married father of 11 children.

After his father's death, one of the man's children told a newspaper that his father had in the days before his death expressed concern about the scaffolding. The scaffolding was erected in 12-foot increments rather than sturdier 6-foot increments, according to the paper.

Lawsuits were filed against seven construction companies and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The settlement resolves the suits including the estate of the dead worker, as well as 15 injured co-workers.

We wish all concerned all the best in recovering as fully as possible from this terrible tragedy.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Atlanta Botanical Garden accident settles for $15 million," Bill Rankin, Oct. 4, 2011

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