Accident and injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that a lawsuit was recently filed against CenterPoint on behalf of two small children who were shocked and severely burned by a dangling power wire. The children’s parents contend that they notified the power company about the dangling wire more than two weeks before the incident.
A three-year-old boy and five-year-old girl were playing in their backyard, where the power pole guy wire had been dangling for over two weeks. The family was completely unaware the wire was active and electrified; the only party aware of its electrification was CenterPoint. The children were playing near the wire when it became electrified, knocking them both unconscious. The five-year-old girl was set on fire and stopped breathing. Fortunately, her father knew how to perform CPR and eventually revived her.
The children were flown to Shriner’s Burn Center in an EMS helicopter, where doctors performed several skin-grafting procedures. It was ultimately decided that some of their limbs needed to be amputated due to the extensiveness of the burns. They currently remain in the hospital’s intensive care unit in critical condition. Their parents say they have a long road of recovery ahead of them.
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Their lawsuit contends that the guy wire was energized when it came into contact with power lines located nearby. It had separated from its anchor a few weeks previously, however, CenterPoint failed to perform any remedial actions. The family is seeking damages, and a Harris County judge recently granted a restraining order against the power company to prevent it from fixing the wire as the case continues. Meanwhile, investigators will be gathering evidence from the backyard to use in their case. The family hopes to find out how many other families were put in danger by CenterPoint’s negligence, and prevent any further tragedies from occurring.
In a similar story, a family in the Chicagoland area recently lost their 2-year-old son when he was crushed to death by a dresser. More than three years before her son was born, Lisa Siefert bought a children’s dresser from furniture manufacturer Gemme Juvenile at the now-closed store Furniture Kidz.
In 2011, just a few weeks after her son’s second birthday, the dresser tipped over, falling on the little boy. He suffered extensive head trauma and ultimately died as a result of suffocation from being trapped under the piece of furniture. After learning of his death, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 300 of these Natart Chelsea three-drawer dressers. They were sold between January 2005 and December 2010, retailing between $600 and $900.
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According to the CPSC website, the dressers were recalled due to the risk of it tipping over and entrapping the child if they climbed up open dresser drawers. The lawsuit claims that no instructions were provided to help prevent such a tip-over from occurring, and that the furniture should have been equipped with an anchoring strap or some other system that would have prevented the accident.
Gemme Juvenile, based in Canada, is now offering consumers a free anchor kit, which includes a safety strap to secure the dresser to the wall. Such tip-over restraints were made an industry standard in May 2009. Several other actions are currently pending after reports of several children’s deaths were reported from falling televisions and other pieces of furniture.
Parents walk into kid’s furniture stores and assume the materials are safe; an assumption with often disastrous consequences. Between 2000 and 2011, nearly 350 Americans were killed in furniture tip-overs – 84% of those deaths were in children under nine. The CPCS affirms that one child is killed in a similar tip-over every two weeks. More than 60% of these are from falling televisions.
Accident and injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm encourage all parents to educate themselves on the dangerous reality of furniture tip-overs. Lisa Siefert recently launched a public awareness campaign and non-profit, Shane’s Foundation, to spread awareness to parents throughout the country. If your child was seriously injured through the defective manufacturing of a furniture company, you may be entitled to significant compensation, and should contact a skilled injury lawyer as soon as possible.