Energy company comes to a settlement after two children burned
A energy company is settling a dispute with a family whose children were burned by a loose wire, will now inspect all 220,000 of it's wire installations in the Houston region.
The company is planned to launch a television campaign to raise awareness about safety hazards on broken, loose or damaged wires.
A guy-wire is a non-electrical cable used to stabilize utility poles.
In February 2013, two children suffered sever burns in their backyard, when a guy-wire was left loose.
"This is an unprecedented settlement," says the family attorney Anthony Buzbee.
Two of the three children of Christopher and Sarah Zarsky suffered from severe burns last year when a guy-wire came loose from it's anchor in the ground. The parents are now suing the CenterPoint Energy and CenterPoint Energy Houston at the 164th State District Court.
Christopher Zarsky said in court documents that he notified the company about a corroded guy-wire, that broke away from it's underground anchor.
Centerpoint then failed to respond to repair the loose guy-wire, knowing it's proximity to the energized power lines or prevent it from becoming energized, says the plaintiff. The Centerpoint management knew of the dangers and the risk posed by the insulators of the guy-wires, but did nothing to correct the problem.
All three children were playing outside, when the 3-year-old brother and 5-year-old sister were electrocuted by the utility pole's energized components, knocked unconscious and severely burned. The 7-year-old brother was out of range of the electric current.
The children who were injured were taken to Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston. The childten were treated for burn treatment, surgeries and multiple skin grafts.
CenterPoint Energy announced Friday about a confidential settlement that reached last month, that includes trust in an undisclosed amount for all the three children.
"We are sorry the family had to experience this traumatic event," said president of CenterPoint Energy Houston, Tracy Bridge, in a prepared statement.
"While these types of incidents are extremely rare, CenterPoint Energy takes them seriously and is committed to identifying and remedying potential safety issues related to guy wires."
The children are doing much better, says the parent of the three children.
"Although they have a long road ahead of them, they have a close and supportive family," he said. "Shriner's burn unit in Galveston has been wonderful."
The repairs and inspections are planned to be completed by this summer, the company said.
CenterPoint says anyone who sees a broken or damaged guy-wire should call the company at 713-207-2222 and should stay away from the equipment until it is repaired.
Source: KETK "Tyler Police investigating early morning accident in which woman was hit, killed by truck". Carol Christian, February 08, 2014