A worker who suffered serious burn injuries from contact with an overhead power line in Northeastern Pennsylvania has settled his case for more than $2.4 million. By agreement of the parties, the settlement negotiated by attorneys Alan M. Feldman and Daniel J. Mann will not disclose the identity of the plaintiffs or the defendants.
The accident occurred on an access road leading to a site on which a water tower and other facilities were being constructed in connection with a water distribution project. The plaintiff, who was the proprietor of an excavation and road surfacing company, was directing the grading of the access road. Crossing the access road were telephone and power lines, which had been installed respectively by the local telephone and electric utility companies.
Both the telephone and power wires had been installed at an elevation significantly below that required by the National Electric Safety Code. The substandard height of the telephone lines interfered with operation of a grader being used by the plaintiff and his employee. When the plaintiff climbed on top of the grader to disentangle the telephone line from the grader’s dome light, he was electrocuted by the 35 kilovolt uninsulated high voltage line. The plaintiff survived, sustaining devastating injuries requiring dozens of surgical procedures.
Shortly after the accident, the plaintiff’s family retained attorneys Feldman and Mann to investigate the circumstances of this unwitnessed accident. Following preliminary confirmation of the substandard installation of the wires, a lawsuit was commenced against the utility companies, the general contractor, and the project manager. Plaintiffs’ counsel engaged in extensive discovery and retained expert witnesses in the fields of construction safety, electrical engineering and human factors, as well as physicians, vocational experts, and a lifecare planner to address the nature and severity of the plaintiff’s damages.
Shortly before the scheduled commencement of trial, the parties entered into this confidential settlement of all claims.