In 2009, a young boy in Alabama met with what can only be described as a tragic, and sudden, end. While playing in a relative's yard, he ran into the neighboring yard -- which was owned by a commercial entity -- and was accidentally electrocuted. This fatal accident caused ripples of sympathy throughout the community and also spawned a long lawsuit. Now, the wrongful death payout that resulted is causing some questions to be asked.
The crux of the inquiry surrounds how much those parties deemed financially responsible for an Alabama accident should have to pay in these kinds of cases. Currently, there is $100,000 cap, but it only applies to government entities. Therefore, a negligent city employee could be the subject of a court ordered judgment for substantially more.
The boy's fatal accident is pertinent to this discussion of caps because his family sued the city of Montgomery's inspector that was responsible for overseeing electrical elements as they relate to city property. The family claims that the inspector should have known that there were electrical hazards on the air conditioning unit that was located on the outside of the building. This unit was part of the electrical circuit that killed the boy.
Now, the family is proceeding with plans to hold the inspector personally responsible for the tragic accident. Legal representatives for the inspector have countered that the inspector did all he could, and that thieves in search of copper exposed parts of the unit that led to the electrical hazards and, ultimately, the fatal accident. It's now up to a court to decide the personal injury claims. Because there is no cap on the amount the defendants can seek against the city employee personally, he could be ordered to pay a significant sum of money to the family of the boy who died if the court determines that he was negligent in a manner that substantially contributed to the boy's untimely death.
Source: cbs3springfield.com, Lawsuit over boy's 2009 electrocution raises questions over laws, Bethany Wales, March 19, 2014