Posted: November 8, 2016

The largest settlement of a personal injury case in Ohio history came recently with Kline & Specter attorneys serving as co-counsel.

The litigation involved a 12-year-old girl suffering catastrophic injuries when she came into contact with a downed power line. The line had fallen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and remained downed and energized for days despite several calls to the power company.

Gasia Thomas touched the power line while walking home from school. She went into cardiac arrest after touching the line. When her mother found her, Gasia’s hand was stuck to the wire and on fire. Despite a lengthy hospitalization afterward, with medical bills reaching $821,000, she remains disabled.

Shanin Specter and Kila Baldwin served as co-counsel in the case with Cleveland lead attorney Mike Becker. The settlement by First Energy Corp. followed a record $109 million verdict and subsequent $105 million settlement by Specter, Baldwin and Dominic Guerrini, in a case in which Carrie Goretzka, a 39-year-old wife and mother, was killed when an improperly spliced power line fell on her as she was standing in her front yard on a clear, sunny day in western Pennsylvania. The defendant in that case was West Penn Power Co., a subsidiary of First Energy.