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Pennsylvania family wins wrongful death claim after tragic loss

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

A tragic Pennsylvania accident led to the death of a mother as her children watched. The woman noticed trees burning in her backyard and was contacting 911 when a power line fell on her. She caught on fire in front of her mother-in-law and young daughters. The mother-in-law tried to save the woman, but she also sustained serious injuries. The accident led to a successful wrongful death lawsuit against the power company.

The woman suffered for 20 minutes under 7,000 volts of electricity while waiting for emergency services to shut off the power. She did not die immediately, but succumbed to her injuries three days after the horrific accident. The husband had complained to the power company at least twice about the lines in their backyard. He feared for the well-being of his family, but the power company apparently failed to do anything.

A jury awarded the family $109 million in damages. It found the power company negligent in the death of the 39-year-old woman. The company announced they may appeal the verdict.

This accident has devastated the woman's family and will likely affect them for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, the husband was successful in holding the company responsible by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. The verdict may come as little solace, though, because a major part of the family is gone. Pennsylvania residents who lose a loved one due to the negligence of another typically have legal recourse to seek monetary damages sustained as a result of an accident.

Source: Christian Post, "Family Awarded $109 Million After Mom Killed in Front of Horrified Kids by Falling Power Line," Gracie Lee, Dec. 8, 2012

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