Earlier this week, a lawsuit was filed for the wrongful death of a 25 year old woman, Devin Olivia Powers, who lost her life after being electrocuted while swimming near a dock at Lake Sinclair. In early May of last year, the woman, a resident of Macon, Georgia, was visiting a friend in Eatonton, Georgia. The women decided to go for a swim and selected a location close to their neighbor’s dock. According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the neighbor had recently replaced their dock’s flooring. An outlet box and bare wire was left exposed on the decking. At some point during their swimming excursion, Powers touched the dock while treading water. As a result, she came in contact with the outlet box or exposed wire and was electrocuted.
Lawsuit alleges that owners failed to properly maintain their property and to ensure that the area was reasonably safe.
The administrator of Powers’ estate filed a lawsuit against the dock’s owners, CBM Investments, Inc. and Carey Merrell, as well as several other parties in Bibb County Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that the parties were negligent by failing to take measures to make the area reasonably safe in order to avoid electrocution. Namely, the complaint argues that Powers was killed as a result of improper and dangerous wiring on the dock. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that the parties knew, or should have known, about the existence of the improper wiring and the dangers it could pose to others.
Dock owner argues that the victim was a trespasser.
A statement released by the dock owner argues that while Power’s death was a tragedy, he is not responsible because she was trespassing when the accident occurred. According to the dock owner, on the day the incident occurred, there was a chain blocking the driveway to his home and dock.
Whether Powers was a trespasser is a key issue because landowners have a lower duty of care to trespassers than to individuals who are lawfully on their property. A landowner’s only duty to a trespasser is to avoid willful or wanton conduct or entrapment.
A wrongful death suit is a civil claim brought by the administrator of a deceased individual’s estate, alleging that the defendant was liable for the death. To win a wrongful death action, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was liable for the death. If the plaintiff is successful in proving liability, damages may be recovered. In Georgia, the plaintiff can recover the full value of the life lost, which includes economic damages such as loss of income, as well as emotional pain and suffering.
If your loved one has been killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve.