A Darlington County jury has returned a verdict of $9 million against Progress Energy, finding the company responsible in the wrongful death of 21-year-old Allen Toney. The jury awarded the victim’s mother $3.5 million in actual damages and $5.5 million in punitive damages. This was the largest award in Darlington County history. Toney died as the result of being electrocuted by a downed power line at his home.
Evidence at trial was that Progress Energy was negligent in responding to numerous inspection notifications of the hazardous condition of the utility pole in the months prior to the incident. Jurors also heard evidence that Progress Energy was negligent in responding to numerous phone calls made to the utility’s Energy Call Center after a storm and prior to the electrocution incident. Those calls provided notification and warning to Progress Energy about the downed power line situation and the dangerous conditions present. The jury found that Progress Energy was negligent and that its negligence caused the tragic death of the victim.
Source: Hartsville Messenger
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