In June 2009, a Pennsylvania woman died days after she was struck by a power line that fell into her yard. Carrie Goretzka stepped outside to call 911 about the line and was shocked and burned by a live electrical wire that fell from trees. Rescue workers couldn’t help her until a utility crew came to cut off the power.
Goretzka’s family filed a lawsuit against the utility company, West Penn Power, and its related companies. It contends the companies are liable for Goretzka’s death because utility workers failed to properly maintain the wires that fell near her home.
The family’s attorney, Shanin Specter, says the power line failed at a point where it was spliced. He says workers using a splice device should have used a wire brush to clean oxides from the wires. Otherwise overheating will cause the splice to fail.