Record Personal Injury Payout in Pennsylvania, Notes Waxahachie Personal Injury Attorney
A Pennsylvania family lost a family member in 2009. Carrie Goretzka died when a spliced power line landed on her while she was in her yard; she was burned and electrocuted, and later died from her extensive injuries. Her family sued West Penn Power, and won $109 million for personal injury and another $61 million in punitive damages.
“The payout was the largest for Pennsylvania,” noted John Hale, Waxahachie personal injury attorney.
While the trial ran three weeks, the jury took a mere 90 minutes to agree that employees of West Penn Power were improperly trained to work on the lines, which is why a spliced power line was not properly secured and was able to fall into Goretzka’s yard. Ms. Goretzka was outside making a phone call when she spotted one or more trees on fire in her yard due to the overheated power line. She turned off the power to the house and went back out to check on the fire when the line fell on her.
The attorney for West Penn claimed that Ms. Goretzka placed herself in harm’s way by standing below the line. According to the family, another resident of the home, Mr. Goretzka, called West Penn Power in 2003 and again in 2004 to report fallen power lines in his backyard. It was those same power lines that overheated in 2009, igniting trees in their backyard. Allegedly, the power company did not properly train workers in how to service the power lines, including the use of a wire brush to clean them before splicing them. Using a wire brush can prevent the power lines from rusting, overheating and then falling. The jury sided with the Goretzka family and awarded a record sum for the county.
West Penn Power had reportedly turned down an offer to settle out of court from the family, with the condition that West Penn institute infrared inspections of power lines and updating staff training to include the proper cleaning of power lines.
West Penn Power has yet to say if they plan to appeal.
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
View Larger Map
- Studies Show Plastic Gas Cans Pose Risk of Explosion
They are as ubiquitous in American garages and gas stations as automobiles. Unfortunately, they may also be, in at least one respect, just as susceptible to unfortunate accidents. Scientists say that the common plastic gas can sold throughout the United States carries the potential for fiery explosion — and most Americans are probably unaware that the portable vessels could even pose such a hazard. In tests conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), scientists found that, under certain circumstances, gas vapor blends can ignite within portable cans and cause significant injury to those in the vicinity of the [...]
- At Some Texas Schools, Student Athletes Lack Crucial Catastrophic Care Insurance
High school sports, especially football, are a hallowed tradition in Texas. School districts in the state regularly set aside significant portions of their budgets for athletic programs. Government purse strings may be loose for the sports programs themselves, but spending on medical insurance for student athletes is checkered at best in some of Texas’ metropolitan regions. The risk of injury, including catastrophic injury, always hangs over high school sports events, particularly the rougher contact sports (including football). Many school districts provide catastrophic care insurance for students who experience serious accidents or illnesses while competing in school-sponsored sports. Policies typically carry [...]
- Texas Tops Nation in Traffic Fatalities for 2012
Federal officials have finalized traffic fatality statistics for 2012. The official data confirms that roadway deaths in Texas have increased at over three times the nationwide rate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,398 traffic fatalities occurred in Texas in 2012, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year. Nationally, 33,561 died on 2012 roadways in total, representing an increase of 3.3 percent since 2011. Previously, automobile death rates were on their sixth year of decline in a row. According to officials, a number of factors contributed to the increase. Officials noted that even when overall traffic [...]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: Ellis County personal injury attorney, Ellis County personal injury lawyer, Waxahachie accident attorney, Waxahachie accident lawyer, Waxahachie personal injury attorney, Waxahachie personal injury lawyer