Confidential Settlement – North Carolina Electrocution- Contact downed power line after car accident – Burn Injury
The plaintiff was a passenger in a single-vehicle “car vs. utility pole” accident which involved a utility pole carrying high-voltage distribution power lines. When the plaintiff exited the wrecked vehicle in the middle of the night, the plaintiff was forced to negotiate tangled wreckage and downed utility lines in pitch black conditions, and stepped on a 15kv energized powerline. Generally, if a power line is on the ground after a major car crash, it should be de-energized automatically via control mechanisms on the circuit called “reclosers.” Because the utility company negligently set its protective equipment to only de-energize the powerlines in rare occasions (putting, literally, profits over people), the violent car crash did not trigger an automatic de-energization of the lines. Jonah Flynn took on the large, investor-owned utility after other lawyers gave up on the case, and proved the utility was negligent.