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Texas Personal Injury News

Monday, June 11, 2018

Liability for Flood Water Electrocution Death in Houston

Q: Who is responsible for electrocution deaths in flooded areas?

A former Eagle Scout committed to rescuing animals died doing just that when he was reportedly electrocuted while wading through knee-deep water in a Hurricane Harvey flooded neighborhood.

As he was walking on a sidewalk en route to his sister’s house he reportedly "felt a current in his ankle" and allegedly told the friend accompanying him not to come near him as he was electrocuted to death. The electric current allegedly came from a light fixture on the property beside the sidewalk. Now his surviving family has commenced a wrongful death lawsuit in Houston.

The action reportedly names multiple defendants including the electric company, the company that installed the light fixture, and the homeowners of the property with the light fixture, all of which allegedly caused or contributed to the man’s death.

The man's parents believe the electric company was negligent in failing to cut the electricity in the area which it knew or should've known would be flooded. They also allege that the light fixture believed to be the source of the deadly current was installed improperly and that the negligent installation was “contributing to the cause of [his] electrocution." The doctrine of premises liability holds a property owner responsible for injuries resulting from dangerous conditions on their property. The lawsuit alleges the homeowners “negligently failed to safely up keep and maintain their property”.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the closest surviving family members of a victim may be entitled to compensatory damages if they're able to prove that the actions or inactions of another person or entity negligently, recklessly, or intentionally caused or contributed to the victim’s death.

If liability can be established, compensatory damages awarded may include the victim’s final medical and burial expenses as well as other financial losses suffered by the family as a result of the victim’s death. In addition, the victim’s survivors may be entitled to recover damages for "survival actions" which are claims based on the degree of consciousness, the severity of pain, apprehension of impending death, and the duration of such suffering of the victim.

Because wrongful death actions are complicated with respect to who has the standing to sue and for what kind of damages, it's important to seek counsel from a skilled wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to maximize your chances of recovering damages.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, as a result of the actions or inactions of somebody else, the personal injury law experts at Chandler, Mathis & Zivley can help you maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. We can't undo the accident but may be able to help relieve the financial burden it has caused. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Lufkin and Houston, Texas, we've been representing victims and their loved ones throughout Texas as well as those injured while visiting Texas.


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