Electrocution Victim’s Family Gets Record-Setting Award In Court
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A record-setting award has been handed down for the family of a Westmoreland County woman electrocuted when a power line fell on her.
The jury awarded $109 million, which a judge says is the largest award in the history of Allegheny County.
Carrie Goretzka, 39, a mother of two young girls, died in 2009 after the line fell on her.
Shanin Specter, the family’s attorney, says the Goretzkas are “gratified” with the verdict but that nothing will bring Carrie Goretzka back.
“The jury’s verdict is an important message to First Energy that they have to fix their power lines,” said Specter. “They’ve had a problem. It’s really an epidemic of falling, energized power lines.”
Michael Goretzka, Carrie’s husband, testified during the trial that he had contacted West Penn Power repeatedly after the same line fell in the yard twice before.
Scott Surgeoner is a spokesperson for First Energy, the parent company of West Penn Power.
He said, “We respect the work of the jury and their verdict during this lengthy trial, and we thank them for their service.”
Surgeoner went on to say: “We’ll be reviewing the verdict during the next several days to determine whether an appeal of any or all of the verdict is warranted.”
He declined to comment on Specter’s assertion that the company has an ongoing problem with power lines.
Closing Arguments Held In Family’s Lawsuit Against West Penn Power (12/6/12)
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