Plaintiff was an 18-year-old woman who had attended a party with her friends immediately after a storm. The storm had knocked down a number of electrical wires. The plaintiff saw an electrical wire hanging over her car and she reached out to touch it. She was immediately electrocuted and suffered severe burns, although she survived.
The electric company claimed that there had not been sufficient time since the storm to locate all of the downed wires and that it had no notice of this particular problem.
John Winer worked on this case early in his career while he was working for another firm. The attorneys were able to establish that the electrical company in fact did have notice of the problem with wires hanging in the area — there had been several phone calls to the company; however, it made these particular wires a low priority despite the fact that live electricity was running through them. The law firm alleged that this was a clear act of negligence under the circumstances.
Plaintiff eventually healed from her burn injuries; however, was left with a significant psychological injury.
RESULT: Settlement on behalf of plaintiff for $950,000