Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Trial has begun concerning woman that was electrocuted

Back in January, we wrote about a wrongful death suit that was filed after a Pennsylvania woman was electrocuted when a power line fell down upon her property. The woman, from West Hempfield, died some three days after the electrocution took place.

At the ongoing trial, a West Penn Power Co. lineman told the jury that the connection repairs made should never fail. The connection repair nevertheless did fail some five years later, and this is when the power line fell down upon the woman.

The questioning of the linemen involved in the 2004 repair of the wire apparently was quite extensive. The West Penn directive required that a wire brush was needed to clean off oxides from the strands of wire to prevent overheating. If the use of the brush does not take place, it's quite possible that the splice made to the wire will fail.

The questioning of witnesses by lawyers in such circumstances often needs to be quite precise. Establishing whether policies were or were not followed may mean the difference between winning and losing the case. And sometimes this means examining witnesses closely whose memory may be faulty or who may wish to avoid answering any question at all.

There was a time when the requirement of using a wire brush to clean the strands was not required. Likely, because other individuals were injured, such a practice has now become commonplace.

Sometimes knowledge of better practices in industries only comes about because evidence in lawsuits has shown how unsafe other practices happened to be.

Source: Trib Live, "Line repair recalled in suit over West Hempfield woman's death," by Paul Peirce, Nov. 21, 2012

  • If you have had a loved one that has accidentally died and are wondering about your options, our Pittsburgh law firm's wrongful death website is available.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Phone: 412-567-1232
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