Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP is pleased to announce that our legal team was recently successful in securing a $28 million wrongful death verdict on behalf of the family of a Hamilton County lineman who was tragically killed while on the job. The jury, which ruled in favor of our clients on June 7th following a two and a half week trial, ruled that defendant Utilimap Corporation was negligent in causing the man’s death and liable for the nearly $28 million in damages.
The wrongful death lawsuit stems from a fatal incident in which a 43-year-old Duke Energy Ohio lineman was killed while climbing a utility pole. While climbing the utility pole with another worker, the pole broke below ground due to underground decay and fell on top of the man, who was strapped to the pole. He died shortly after the incident due to internal injuries, and is survived by his wife and three children.
Attorneys Stuart Scott, Jeremy Tor, and Peter Weinberger of Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP filed suit on behalf of the man’s family against Utilimap Corporation, a division of Quanta Services. Utilimap had been hired by the man’s employer, Duke Energy, to inspect utility poles across Southwest Ohio and was contractually obligated to inspect poles for public safety and the safety of utility workers.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that Utilimap inspectors skipped the pole which collapsed and killed the man. The company did not inform Duke Energy that it had skipped the pole, and instead billed Duke Energy for the inspection and received payment. Although Utilimap denied fault for the incident and blamed the man for his own death, our legal team was able to present a clear and convincing case at trial. Ultimately, the jury found Utilimap 100% negligent for failing to inspect the utility pole and notify the man’s employer.
Our firm is proud of our legal team for their efforts in litigating this difficult case, and for securing the compensation the man’s family needs as they move forward and rebuild their lives. Although no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, it does provide a sense of justice by ensuring the negligent party is held accountable.