Truck driver's electrocution subject of wrongful death complaint

Kelly Holleran Jan. 7, 2009, 8:21am

The family of a truck driver electrocuted on the job has filed a wrongful death complaint.

Brian Johnson was driving a tractor-trailer to make a delivery of cattle feed to Reno Farms near Medora when his trailer contacted a power line on Sept. 12, 2007, according to the complaint filed by Keena Johnson Jan. 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Because of his death, Johnson's next of kin have lost his society, companionship, support, love and affection, Keena Johnson claims.

M.J.M. Electric Cooperative, the company that owned the power lines, was negligent by failing to properly maintain its power line when it knew the line presented a hazard, by failing to properly maintain its reclosures protecting the power line and by failing to warn Brian Johnson of the presence of the power line, according to the complaint.

The company also negligently failed to suspend its power line at the proper height, the suit states.

Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company, the business that had rebuilt the circuit reclosure for the power line and that was responsible for its maintenance, was negligent by defectively designing and rebuilding in that it failed to de-energize the power line when it was inadvertently contacted, Keena Johnson alleges.

It also negligently failed to properly maintain the reclosure which failed to de-energize the power line it governed when the line was inadvertently contacted, according to the complaint.

Cooper Power Systems, the company that manufactured the circuit reclosure, negligently designed and manufactured in that it failed to de-energize the power line when inadvertently contacted, the suit states.

In the five-count suit, Keena Johnson is seeking a judgment in excess of $250,000, plus costs.

Bruce R. Cook of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0004.

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