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Accidental electrocution leads to wrongful death lawsuit

The accidental death of a Lancaster County man in October 2016 is the basis for a wrongful death suit filed by the man's widow last week. The man was working on the construction of an addition to the East Penn Manufacturing Co. battery manufacturing plant near Lyons when suffered the fatal workplace accident.

The deceased was employed by B. J. Baldwin in Lancaster County. He was working in a mechanical room when a 480-volt shock allegedly passed through his body. According to the complaint, the accident occurred because the circuit breaker lockout was not working properly. Circuit breaker lockouts are intended to shut off all electric current to specified circuits. He was pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. The lawsuit names East Penn, B. J. Baldwin, Schneider Electric USA, Inc., and All Phase Electric Supply Co. as defendants. The complaint alleges that the defendants were negligent, that the circuit breaker and related circuitry were defective, and that the defendants breached various contracts.

When asked why the lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia and not in Berks County, the plaintiff's lawyer said that East Penn was a large employer in Berks County and that finding an impartial jury would have been nearly impossible. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. None of the defendants has filed its answer or otherwise commented on the lawsuit.

Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury or lost a loved one in a workplace accident may wish to seek compensation. Pennsylvania's workers compensation law provides limited compensation to the decedent's family, but in cases such as this, other parties may be liable. The lawyers at Leisawitz Heller in Reading have handled many such cases, and they can provide very helpful advice about the law and facts that will govern the case and an estimate of recovering damages beyond those provided by the workers' compensation law.

Source: Reading Eagle, "Widow sues East Penn, others in husband's electrocution," Holly7 Herman, April 29, 2017

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