Power Lines Lawsuit Results in $1.5M Verdict Over Shock Injury

An Alabama man has been awarded $1.5 million for injuries suffered when he was electrocuted by low-hanging power lines while paving a highway. 

The electrocution lawsuit was filed by Ronald McCarter, 52, against Black Warrior Electric. According to the complaint, McCarter was paving part of Alabama Highway 14 when his vehicle hit low-hanging power lines in 2006.

As a result of contact with the power lines, McCarter took 7,600 volts through his right arm, permanently disabling it. His attorney said that the amount of electricity he suffered was double that used in the electric chair. As a result of the accident, McCarter suffers constant pain, the lawsuit claimed.

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According to McCarter’s claim, his vehicle struck the power lines because they were hung too low and were not properly maintained and inspected by Black Warrior Electric. There are national standards that require power lines that carry a certain amount of power be hung at least a certain distance from the ground.

The Greene County jury issued its verdict last Tuesday, awarding McCarter $1.5 million for medical bills and lost earnings.

Some safety tips for living and working around power lines include:

  • Assume all lines are energized.
  • Never touch any utility wire, and do not touch anyone in contact with an electricity line.
  • If there is a fallen or visibly damaged power line near your home, stay inside unless told by emergency personnel to evacuate. Call 9-1-1.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead lines when carrying or using ladders and other long tools.
  • Do not let children climb trees or fly kites near overhead power lines.


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