Collapsed utility pole leads to personal injury claim

Jon Campisi Aug. 19, 2011, 10:21am

A Philadelphia woman who alleges she suffered serious bodily injuries after being struck by a collapsing utility pole is suing those who owned or controlled the structure.

Attorney William H. Bishop, of the Philadelphia law firm Bishop, Dorfman, Lazaroff & Meehan, P.C., filed the personal injury lawsuit Aug. 16 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Nidra Nunez.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Arose, Inc. of Westville, NJ, Unisys Corporation of Blue Bell, Pa., and Philadelphia-based IBS Communications, Inc.

According to the complaint, a truck was driving north on Greene Street in the Northwest section of the city in mid August 2009 when it struck a series of low-hanging, overhead cable, telephone and/or utility wires strung across Greene at the intersection with Campbell Place.

The wires, the lawsuit claims, were owned, maintained and/or installed by or on behalf of Arose, Unisys and/or IBS.

After the impact, the truck continued down Greene Street, pulling and dragging the wires behind, the lawsuit states. The accident eventually caused the pole on which the wires were attached to crack and collapse, striking the plaintiff.

As a result of the accident, Nunez sustained chronic and permanent neck and lower back injuries, including disc bulges and herniations.

The physical injuries have caused Nunez to experience permanent disability and impairment of her future earning capacity. The plaintiff has also been prevented from attending to her usual duties and activities, and she has incurred, and is expected to continue to incur, medical expenses for the treatment of her injuries.

Nunez has suffered “excruciating and agonizing pains, aches, mental anguish, humiliation, disfigurement and limitation and restriction of her usual duties, pursuits and pleasures,” the lawsuit claims.

The complaint accuses the defendants of carelessness and negligence for failing to exercise reasonable care in the installation of the wires, failing to properly install the wires, failing to perform a reasonable inspection of the wires and failing to acquire the proper permits to own, maintain and/or install overhead wires across Greene Street.

For each of the three counts listed in the lawsuit, Nunez demands judgment in an amount not in excess of $50,000.

The matter is scheduled for arbitration in April.

The case number is 110802624.

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