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Pennsylvania woman suffers wrongful death says jury

Pennsylvania readers may be familiar with the case of one local woman who died after she was electrocuted by a fallen power line in her yard. The wrongful death case that resulted from her untimely passing recently resulted in one of the largest personal injury awards in our state's history. In addition, a jury found the power company liable for the woman's death.

The representatives for the woman's estate assert that she left her home to call the power company one afternoon after seeing that a line had fallen in her yard. For reasons unknown, she came into contact with the fallen power line and 7,200 volts passed through her body. It was 20 minutes before the line was turned off.

The woman died as a result of the incident after three days in the hospital. Her estate made a wrongful death claim against the power company asserting that the failure to fix the lines, which had fallen several times before the fatal incident, led to the wrongful death. The jury agreed, awarding the large verdict to the grieving family.

The litigation over this case continues in a Pennsylvania court. However, like others who have been injured in such incidents, the family in this case is asserting a wrongful death claim. This claim is intended to help ease the financial losses of the family as a result of the tragic accident. In fact, in many similar cases, survivors are able to make a claim for not only lost wages, but also for the pain suffered by the now-deceased victim. Wrongful death cases like these can also serve as a powerful warning to companies that act in a potentially negligent fashion, something that can help improve public safety and avoid similar incidents in the future.

Source: philly.com, "$109 million personal-injury award in Western Pennsylvania offers insight into tort system," Chris Mondics, Feb. 4, 2013

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