Largest contested liability personal injury verdict in Pennsylvania history, including $48 million compensatory and $61 million punitive damages for the family of a woman killed by a fallen electric line. (Goretzka)
Overhead electric power lines are such a commonplace sight in the United States that few people are aware of their inherent danger -- and some pay a terrible price as a result.
Kline & Specter, PC, in December 2012 litigated such a case, winning a $109 million jury verdict, the largest personal injury verdict in Pennsylvania history, for a Pittsburgh-area woman, 39-year-old Carrie Goretzka, who was killed after a high-voltage power line fell on her in her front yard. No adverse weather conditions existed at the time of the mishap. (See The Goretzka Case.)
If you or a loved one were severely or fatally injured by a downed utility power line, you may have grounds for a lawsuit and should email or call us at 800-243-1100 to speak with a power line injury attorney. Kline & Specter, with more than 35 skilled attorneys, several of whom are also doctors, has the experience and expertise to investigate complex injury cases and to litigate cases against major utilities and corporations. We represent injured victims and their families in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the US.
In the Goretzka case, the lawsuit claimed that West Penn Power linemen failed to properly clean lines before placing them into splices, often using knives to clean lines or doing nothing at all, instead of using wire brushes in accordance with the manufacturer's and the power company's written instructions. On June 2, 2009, such a poorly maintained power line fell on Carrie Goretzka, of Irwin, repeatedly shocking and burning her as her two young children watched. The same line had fallen five years earlier and scorched the Goretzkas' lawn.
In an earlier case involving a major utility, Kline & Specter, based in Philadelphia but handling cases nationwide, won a $40.5 million settlement – $11 million from Peco Energy Co. – on behalf of six people who died and six who were injured in an explosion and fire at an apartment complex. (See The Village Green Case) The explosion occurred after heavy rains flooded a basement and dislodged a gas dryer. The lawsuit claimed that Peco had failed to provide an adequate shutoff or regulatory device to prevent an "overpressurization of gas" in the ruptured line.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are about 125 deaths on the job each year in the United States and roughly 400 overall as a result of electrocutions. Other tragedies occur around residential properties and can be caused by inadequate inspections, installation or maintenance by energy companies. Click here to learn about other electricity-related injuries.
Or contact a power line lawyer today.