Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 20, 2017 – Brothers Alex, age 12, and Isaiah, age 11, loved exploring Oakland Lake Park near Fort Worth, Texas. One day after a severe storm ravaged the area, cutting power to over 200,000, the two were exploring in the overgrown bush. They discovered a downed high power voltage line.
Young children certainly do not realize the dangers of a downed high power voltage line nor understand that they should not step in water near the line. One day in March they went exploring in the nearby park with friends, something they did every day after school, but on this particular day, the boys found a downed power line on the ground. It was later revealed the line has been down for up to 18 hours after the storm.
A few short minutes after their discovery, the older boy stepped in an electrified pool of water. Eleven- year-old Isaiah reached to help Alex as he was shouting for his friends to get help. Both boys died two hours later from injuries sustained by electrocution. The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, seeking $40 million in damages against the local electric company, Oncor, alleging it could have prevented the fatalities, as it knew or should have known about the downed power line.
The lawsuit further suggests that Oncor could have acted on the information it received from technology that allegedly monitors fluctuations in the power grid and that they failed to cut power to the downed line fast enough or to warn the public.
According to Oncor the technology the plaintiff suggests could have been used to detect the downed line “does not exist” and that they rely on first responders and the public to report downed lines. Given the remote, low traffic area where the boys were electrocuted, Oncor claims it would have had no way of knowing about the downed line.
“This case is a difficult one for the family who just want to make sure that no other family finds themselves in a similar situation,” explained Austin wrongful death lawyer, Brooks Schuelke, who is not involved in the case. “Complicating matters at the scene was a grass fire started by the energized power line. First responders could not reach the boys for over an hour for them to be rescued.”
In Texas, wrongful death claims may be filed if the death is caused by the wrongful act, carelessness or neglect of another person or company. “That means a claim may exist if a loved one dies due to the negligence of others — such as a DUI collision, a defective product, or an error someone or some company made that caused the death,” said Schuelke.
Wrongful death lawsuits are complex and it is best to connect with a highly experienced attorney to understand how they work and what can be expected while getting such a case ready for trial.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC
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Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944