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Wrongful death claim faults Salina for Kansas girl's death

Pittsburg victims injured due to another person or party's carelessness may request compensation. Damages may be awarded whether an injury accident or wrongful death occurs in traffic, at work or on someone else's property. Defendants in accident cases may be individuals, companies or even governments.

A Kansas family has filed a complaint against the City of Salina and the makers of an electrical box. The lawsuit claims an 11-year-old female relative was severely shocked when she came in contact with the city's ground-level electrical box during a May rain storm. The child suffered critical injuries and died New Year's Eve.

The child slipped in the wet weather while playing with friends. She was shocked after falling onto the electrical box. People who tried to save the girl also reported shocks. Rescuers finally had to retrieve the girl using a non-conductive, fiberglass pole.

Investigators learned the junction box had short-circuited and was improperly grounded. A city-paid electrician told authorities a ground wire was never installed. He said power surges could trip the breaker constantly and, apparently, inconveniently. City officials have not commented on the filing.

The lawsuit claims Hope Electrical Products made the junction boxes without providing grounding screws. The manufacturer also is accused of not supplying warnings that a grounding screw should be used during box installations.

The family's attorney stated the girl's relatives are hoping to settle the damage claim rather than go to trial, despite the complaint's request to put the case before a jury. The City of Salina carries a $1 million accident insurance policy. State laws also limit damages the state and local governments or government agencies pay in civil claims.

Plaintiffs may recover compensation for losses they've endured due to a loved one's wrongful death. Damages can cover burial expenses and the decedent's medical costs, along with other financial and emotional suffering of surviving family members.

Source: Salina Journal, "Negligence claimed in shocking case" Michael Strand, Feb. 20, 2014

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