Parents of Two Burned Children Settle Lawsuit
The parents of two children burned by a loose wire have settled a lawsuit against CenterPoint Energy. As part of the settlement, the company will also launch a television campaign about potential injuries from broken or damaged guy wires, which are non-electrical tension cables used for the stabilization of utility poles.
According to court documents, Christopher Zarsky, the father of the children injured, had notified CenterPoint Energy that the guy wire behind his home had broken way from the underground anchor, but the wire was not repaired. Zarsky and his wife, Sarah, say that their three children, ages 3, 5 and 7, were playing in the backyard in February 2013 when the swaying wire came in contact with the pole’s electrified components, causing it to become electrified as well. The couple’s 3-year old daughter and 5-year old son were electrocuted, knocked unconscious and severely burned. Their 7-year old son was out of range of the current and was not injured. The children were flown to Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas, where they underwent treatment that included multiple skin grafts and surgeries.
The Zarskys say that CenterPoint was aware of the extreme risk presented to their children as there were insufficient insulators on the guy wire, and that, even though Mr. Zarsky had reported the loose wire, they did not send anyone to fix the problem. In addition to the settlement paid to the family and the television public service announcements, the company agreed to inspect all 220,000 of the guy-wire installations in the Houston area.
A spokesman for CenterPoint said that the company was “sorry the family had to experience this traumatic event,” stating that the type of incident that caused the injuries to the Zarsky children was extremely rare. However, the company said that they take every such incident seriously and will work to eliminate the possibility of such an incident occurring again.
When the negligence of a company is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in an accident that causes injury or death, a personal injury claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by a company’s negligence.