Recent North Carolina case: Kenemore v EnergyUnited.
North Carolina lawyers recently filed this lawsuit. As set out in the Complaint, a pine tree in a residential back yard grew over the years up and around an electric power line. A six year old neighbor boy from next door was visiting with his mother. He and the six year old girl who lives in the house went outside to play in the yard, and the boy climbed the tree. The little girl playing with him came into the house and told the boy’s mother that the boy was pretending to be asleep up in the tree.
The mother went out and called up to her son, who did not move, so she climbed the tree to his limp body, screaming his name. An ambulance took her son to the hospital, but he was dead from electrocution.
There was a 7,200 volt uninsulated electric power line running through the tree or near enough to reach. The 6 year old boy had no idea of the danger.
As readers of this website know, there are electrical safety standards to protect people from the danger of high voltage electric power lines. The National Electrical Safety Code requires the electric power utility companies to keep tree branches cut back from their power lines, to prevent just this sort of accident. It appears from the Complaint that a violation of the National Electrical Safety Code caused the death of an innocent victim.
For a copy of the Complaint as filed in the Court, in Adobe pdf format, click here. But be warned, reading the Complaint will bring tears to your eyes.
My sympathy to the family and friends and neighbors of the boy who was killed.
Update: This case was settled, by the power company making a substantial payment.
For more information about safety standards of keeping trees cut back from power lines, visit the page on trees near power lines.