Family award $109 million in damages after a mother was electrocuted by a falling power line in front of her two horrified daughters, Chloe and Carlie. According to The Christian Post, Carrie Goretzka was hit by 7,000 volts of electricity when a power line fell on her, setting her on fire. The family could do nothing but watch the mom suffer for 20 minutes, pinned down by the power line with the live wire on top of her.
Husband Michael Goretzka reportedly complained to the Western Pennsylvania Power Company on two separate occasions that power lines had fallen into his backyard, saying he feared for his family’s safety. The power company did not heed these warnings and on June 2, 2009 his wife met with the tragic accident.
On that fateful day Carrie Goretzka noticed there was a power outage at their home. She went outside to find a number of trees on fire in her backyard. She rushed to her car to find her mobile phone. She was calling 911 at the side of her yard when the live power line fell on top of her, lighting her on fire. Her mother in law tried to help, but was unable to free the suffering woman, and she herself was seriously burned in the incident.
Emergency crews took 20 minutes to arrive and shut off the power. Amazingly, Carrie Goretzka was still alive at this point. She was rushed to the hospital only to die from her injuries three days later.
These events led to a three week trial before the jury awarded the family $109 million, finding Western Pennsylvania Power Company negligent in the death. The power company is expected to appeal this decision.
Following the verdict, an anonymous juror said, “Its been a very emotional experience through this whole trial and we just wanted to do right by the family and somehow ease their pain and suffering a little bit.”
While the family was awarded $109 million, somehow I think that mere money will not release the pain of the family losing its mother to this tragic accident.