RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
Family of electrocuted woman get $6.2m in landmark award

The settlement between the utility company Con Edison and the family of Jodie Lane came 10 months after the 30-year-old doctoral student died in the East Village after falling onto an electrified metal plate while walking her dogs.

The dogs started fighting and as she tried to separate them she slipped on the icy ground and landed on the manhole cover.

The plate had become electrified because of a poorly insulated wire in a utility box and carried the charge above ground with the help of salt that had been used to grit the roads.

When the emergency services arrived they did not touch Ms Lane for fear that they too would be electrocuted. One officer suffered an electric shock when she came too close.

The public and tragic circumstances of her death led to strong criticism of Con Edison, leading to new safety rules and more rigorous inspections of electrical equipment. The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg criticised Con Edison for its "unacceptable" maintenance of power lines.

"It's just unacceptable that somebody can walk on a street and get electrocuted and we've got to make sure that doesn't happen again," he said.

As well as the compensation for the Lane family the settlement includes $1m for Columbia University's Teachers College for scholarships and research in the clinical psychology department, where Ms Lane was studying.

Con Edison also agreed to provide two members of a three-person panel that will periodically review its safety procedures.

The Lane family is to set up a foundation that will provide the third panel member.

"A settlement like this is never easy to achieve," Ms Lane's father, Roger Lane, told the New York Times.

"But I think the parties to the settlement acted in a first-class manner and the end result is something quite unusual."

According to court papers filed in Manhattan on Tuesday, from the $6.25m settlement $5.27m was for wrongful death and the remaining $975,000 was for Ms Lane's pain and suffering.

Legal scholars said the settlement was unusual not just because of its size but because it is rare for companies to make third party payments, as they will to Columbia university, or to agree to a form of regulation, however ad hoc.

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
 follow on twitter
RT @wowfest: 📢📢📢 TIME TO ANNOUNCE OUR BLACK HISTORY MONTH FESTIVAL 1st October- 31st October Featuring @garyyounge @galdemzine @CallMrRobe
RT @theracebeat: We're looking forward to being in Glasgow next week with @garyyounge @arusaqureshi @shola_mcafro @Chess_Ess and many more…
RT @typemediacenter: #ICYMI, read @garyyounge’s recent five-part @guardian series on the challenges, tensions, and vast untapped potential…
RT @MSNBC: 2017 marked the first time firearms killed more people than motor vehicle accidents, according to a new report. https://t.co/zvf…
"Aimee was generous, always guiding outreach workers to homeless people she considered vulnerable. She was less goo… https://t.co/6M64Or8KoG
RT @LSHGofficial: The Staying Power of Peter Fryer - Discussion with contributions from @DavidOlusoga @garyyounge, and Terry Brotherstone.…
RT @DrFrancesRyan: “Austerity was absolutely a choice. You chose to hurt communities.” @Miatsf absolutely destroys Kate Andrews and a Tory…
RT @NesrineMalik: ‘It is not talent but access to the right people, the adventurism of those with nothing to lose, the financial comfort th…
RT @NLawrenceOBE: We always mark the birthday of our son Stephen. We will never forget him. I also remember others suffering the ongoing gr…
RT @hoperoadpublish: We've got that #FridayFeeling, as the weekend is prime book reading time! Looking for a great diverse read? #TheNowh
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc