Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2019 – Ross Howard was installing a new power pole for Centerpoint Energy Houston Electric LLC and MP Technologies LLC, Harris County. He came into contact with an electrified line and was connected to that current for over 10 seconds.
Howard was taken to the nearest medical facility to be treated for his burns. Doctors amputated both his arms below the elbows and his left leg below the knee. In an effort to save his life, doctors recommended amputations of the man’s genitals. At that point Howard’s family decided to take him off life support. Howard died days later.
The widow, Karin Beck, filed a $1 million wrongful death lawsuit in Harris County District Court alleging gross negligence and wrongful death.
“While it is not clear how Mr. Howard came into contact with a live wire, negligence may have been involved on the part of his co-workers or someone at the electric companies not following safety procedures,” said Austin wrongful death attorney, Brooks Schuelke, not involved in this case.
Wrongful death claims are filed against an individual or an entity that allegedly caused someone’s death, either as a result of negligence or an intentional action. Wrongful death claims permit the victim’s estate and/or the family to file a lawsuit against the party who is legally responsible for the death.
Wrongful death cases may arise as a result of a variety of accidents, such as:
· Birth injuries
· Defective products
· Medical malpractice
· Nursing home, assisted living abuse/neglect
· Car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle accidents
· Premises liability accidents
· Slip and falls
· Occupational hazards or exposures
In all wrongful death lawsuits, the burden of proof is lower than in criminal cases, simply because it is a civil action. In order to win a civil lawsuit, there must be a preponderance of evidence instead of a criminal standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Nevertheless, the wrongful death legal process is complex and involves a number of steps that plaintiffs must be aware of prior to pursuing their case. There may be a need for mediation or possibly even a settlement offer made. The one leverage that an attorney preserves is a promise to take a case to court if the defendants do not wish to co-operate.
“Since the process to file a wrongful death case can be so complex and time consuming, it’s a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. It then allows you to be prepared for what is to come and permits the attorney to gather solid evidence to prove your case,” added Schuelke.