Electrocution Deaths at Baseball Fields Require Responsible Parties to Step Up | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Baltimore father Anthony Greene wants more than anything is for someone to take responsibility for the electrical wiring mistake that took the life of his teenage daughter, Deanna, at a Baltimore, Maryland (MD), city park in 2006.

According to a report in the Sept. 10 Baltimore Sun, Deanna was 14 years old when she was killed after grabbing a steel fence around a softball field that was in contact with a buried, live and unshielded electrical cable. The City of Baltimore says it bears no liability for the tragedy because an independent utility and a contractor handled the wiring and construction. Neither the utility, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., nor the contractor, Del Electric Inc., acknowledges fault. This leaves the Greene family without answers and without justice.

Sadly, the Greenes are not alone in encountering delays, denials and ongoing heartbreak in identifying those responsible for the death of their loved one at a city park. In Tucson, Arizona (AZ), an 8-year-old batboy named Deshun Glover died from electrocution as a result of what an independent investigator determined to be a series of electrical wiring mistakes and missed inspections. As in Baltimore, no agency or contractor accepted responsibility.

Electrical shock or electrocution is a possibility in any setting where electricity gets used. Most of us never have to consider this because the contractors, inspectors and regulators we rely upon are dedicated to doing their jobs professionally and with great attention to detail, given the significant dangers of electrical shock and electrocution (electrical shock causing death is the definition of electrocution).

When this is not the case and a careless or inattentive electrician or contractor creates a dangerous electrical condition, the individuals and organizations responsible for mistakes or oversights that lead to injury or death must step up and do right by the families of victim–or the court system will impose liability.

This was true when a hotel’s maintenance personnel left an open light fixture over a hotel shower in Virginia, causing electrical shock injuries and the loss of a commercial airline pilot’s career. And it is true in the ongoing problems with accidental electrocutions in contractor-built facilities for U.S. troops and personnel in Iraq and other overseas bases.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border. The firm handles car, truck, railroad, medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan’s lawyers are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY.