The largest personal injury award in the county’s history was awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit to the husband and family of a woman who was killed by a falling power line in her backyard. The woman burned for more than 20 minutes while in mother-in-law and two young daughters watched helplessly until utility crews arrived to turn off the electricity. The victim’s mother-in-law attempted to help but was burned in the process and unable to render aid. The victim had several fingers severed from her left hand and her left arm was amputated by doctors in an attempt to save her but she died three days later in a local hospital.
Evidence was presented showing that the power company failed to properly train workers for years before the accident and after the victim’s husband told the company that he was concerned for his family’s safety because the spliced power line in their backyard had failed twice before.
It was shown that the power company did not properly train its workers to use a wire brush to clean the power lines before they were spliced. This failure caused the splices to rust which leads to overheating and failure of the lines. The victim had gone outside to call the power company because she saw a tree burning to the overheated wire, cutting power to the house.
This was the most tragic of premises liability injuries and the jurors were justly incensed by the wanton nature of the power company’s response to this safety issue and deliberated less than two hours.
As summertime approaches and more adults and children venture outdoors, Grazian and Volpe advises that all be aware of the presence of power lines and their conditions. Fallen and impaired power lines should be avoided and reported and children taught safety awareness in the presence of these lines-especially where lakes or pools are present.
It is always better to avoid accidents and stay safe but if you can’t stay safe-stay with Grazian & Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.