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Man Freezes to Death When Utility Company Limits Electric Use Reports Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

Oct 8, 2011

Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) October 6, 2011 – It is hard to imagine a man freezing to death in his house, but it happened in this shocking case.

“It simply defies logic,” said Robert Webb, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. “Why would a utility company limit the gas or electric to the home of a senior or low income housing resident in the winter? For money? To make the resident involuntarily reduce their power consumption? Something is drastically wrong with that picture.”

This reported case made national headlines about the 93-year-old WWII veteran that had frozen to death in his house. His outraged family filed a wrongful death suit against the local light and power company and the city where he lived. “Was this man’s death preventable? Most definitely it was,” remarked Webb.

Instances like this raise questions about the moral and ethical responsibilities of power companies. “Who in their right mind would think to limit power to a 93-year-old man in the winter?” Webb asked. “What were they thinking? Yes, he may have been in arrears, but that does not give the city power corporation the license to act irresponsibly and negligently, by turning his power off.”

There are other issues involved in this case, and they relate to devices called limiters that are put on people’s meters to restrict the power going into a home. Residents with limiters can have the power turned back on, but at the age of 93, how would the man know that? How would he even know he had a limiter on his meter?

“The long and short of this story is that the city ordered the removal of all the limiters on people’s meters,” added Webb. “Too bad it had to come at the cost of a life. It’s obvious the city and the power corporation will have to seriously reconsider how they treat seniors and retool their policies for power consumption.” Additionally, legislation was passed by the state that bans government utilities from turning off electric or gas to seniors or low-income families.

While there are a lot of issues involved in this story, the main one for the family who filed the wrongful death lawsuit is that the city and the power utility was negligent in limiting or effectively turning his power off. Will this case win in court? “Likely it will,” opined Webb, “as anyone on a jury will relate to a senior relative facing a similar situation.”

For those that have faced a similar situation, the first phone call should be to a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil matters and filed according to a statute of limitations in each state. It is important to act quickly to allow the lawyer time to mount a winning case.

Webb & D’Orazio are Atlanta personal injury lawyers practicing personal injury law, business law, and criminal defense in Atlanta Georgia.

Webb & D’Orazio
2551 Roswell Road
Suite 201
Marietta, GA 30062
Call: (800) 275-9144