Posted: September 20, 2016

Kline & Specter has filed suit in a wrongful death case reminiscent of the litigation for which he won a $109 million for the family of a woman killed by a fallen power line in suburban Pittsburgh. That case involved Carrie Goretzka, who was struck by a line that fell in the yard adjacent to her home. The latest case claimed the life of Thomas Poynton, Jr. on the other side of the state, in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Poynton,  31, a high school teacher and assistant football coach, was in his home with his wife, Sarah, when they heard a loud explosion behind their house on a sunny July morning. They noticed sparks and fire at the base of a utility pole about 50-70 feet away from their back deck and saw their two dogs barking and rolling on their backs on the backyard lawn. Not seeing the downed Metropolitan Edison power line, Thomas Poynton, who was barefoot, stepped onto the lawn to help his dogs. He was knocked to the ground by the powerful current running through the ground. Poynton was shocked repeatedly and killed by the force from the 34,500-volt transmission line that had been connected to the power substation adjacent to his home.

The civil suit claims that Met-Ed, a subsidiary of First Energy Corp., failed to use reasonable and proper care in the installation and maintenance of the power line and that the power company failed to perform adequate testing and inspections.
The Goretzka case settled for $105 million and an agreement that the power company in that case, West Penn Power, would re-train all of its linemen on proper line installation and inspect all of its lines using modern infra-red technology within three years. It also resulted in the Pennsylvania Utility Commission creating a special division to investigate injuries involving power lines. Three members of the new division, including an investigator and an attorney, were present at the Poynton property following the tragedy.

The Poynton case is being handled by the same Kline & Specter attorneys who litigated the Goretzka case – Shanin Specter, Kila Baldwin and Dominic Guerrini.

Kline & Specter has the experience and expertise to investigate and litigate power line cases involving catastrophic injury. Learn more...