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Employers Deny Liability for TBI & Burn Victim in Tree Electrocution Incident

Working in trees can be a dangerous job, especially when the trees are not properly maintained. A California property owner neglected to trim the overgrown branches from orange trees on its land, leaving them dangerously close to a nearby power line. The utility company servicing the power line also failed to address the overgrown vegetation and the danger it posed. Consequently, a man who was hired by the property owner to pick fruit was electrocuted when the unkempt branches brushed against the power line. The current traveled from the wire down the tree, electrifying his ladder and ejecting him onto the ground. In addition, the electrical surge created a ball of fire that burned the man, leaving him with third- and fourth-degree burns – including damage to his muscles.

 The man’s deep burns extended from the top of his head to his back and both arms. Worse yet, he suffered a traumatic brain injury from the fall, along with hearing loss and vision problems. He retained a lawyer, but the representation was insufficient.

 Pius Joseph, of Law Offices of Pius Joseph a personal injury lawyer specializing in catastrophic brain injury cases, took over the case. Pius knew he had to focus on the many issues that had gone unaddressed by the first lawyer. While he anticipated that he would attain a settlement to cover damages — not to mention the mediocre medical treatment his client received — Pius was prepared to take the case to trial.

 Pius’s first obstacle involved proof and causation. He had to show precisely how the electrocution occurred and what caused it. The man’s first legal team had done a poor job of gathering evidence, and the Defense used this as an opportunity. They made up a story that the Plaintiff had carelessly let his ladder come in direct contact with the power line. Therefore, they argued the man was responsible for his injuries due to his own negligence.

 The second obstacle was the enormous size of the case: there were four Defendants (the power company, a property owner, a tree contractor, and a subcontractor), 25 experts, and more than 100 depositions.

 Pius and his team of experts, which included an electrical engineer and an agricultural expert, were able to prove that the leaves of the orange tree became a contact point with the power line, transmitting electricity through the tree and into the ladder, ultimately causing the man to fall, and resulting in his serious injuries. Then, they worked with DK Global to create a series of animations showing what happened to the Plaintiff’s body when he was electrocuted.

 The animation showed the damage from the traumatic brain injury, along with actual brain scans and imaging showing which areas of the man’s brain had been affected in the incident. They also created an animation showing the extent of the man’s burns, which were so severe they damaged his muscles.

 When Pius took over the case, no offer had been made in mediation, and litigation had extended for over one year. However, with animations showing the gravity of the man’s injury, Pius was able to help his client receive a high seven-figure settlement.

Pius Joseph of the Law Offices of Pius Joseph is a personal injury attorney who represents victims injured in auto, motorcycle, and product accidents. He started his career in 1988 as a personal injury lawyer dealing strictly with motorcycle accidents and has expanded his client base to other accidents throughout California.

Working in trees can be a dangerous job, especially when the trees are not properly maintained. A California property owner neglected to trim the overgrown branches from orange trees on its land, leaving them dangerously close to a nearby power line. The utility company servicing the power line also failed to address the overgrown vegetation and the danger it posed. Consequently, a man who was hired by the property owner to pick fruit was electrocuted when the unkempt branches brushed against the power line. The current traveled from the wire down the tree, electrifying his ladder and ejecting him onto the ground. In addition, the electrical surge created a ball of fire that burned the man, leaving him with third- and fourth-degree burns – including damage to his muscles.

 

The man’s deep burns extended from the top of his head to his back and both arms. Worse yet, he suffered a traumatic brain injury from the fall, along with hearing loss and vision problems. He retained a lawyer, but the representation was insufficient.

 

Pius Joseph, of Law Offices of Pius Joseph a personal injury lawyer specializing in catastrophic brain injury cases, took over the case. Pius knew he had to focus on the many issues that had gone unaddressed by the first lawyer. While he anticipated that he would attain a settlement to cover damages — not to mention the mediocre medical treatment his client received — Pius was prepared to take the case to trial.

 

Pius’s first obstacle involved proof and causation. He had to show precisely how the electrocution occurred and what caused it. The man’s first legal team had done a poor job of gathering evidence, and the Defense used this as an opportunity. They made up a story that the Plaintiff had carelessly let his ladder come in direct contact with the power line. Therefore, they argued the man was responsible for his injuries due to his own negligence.

 

The second obstacle was the enormous size of the case: there were four Defendants (the power company, a property owner, a tree contractor, and a subcontractor), 25 experts, and more than 100 depositions.

 

Pius and his team of experts, which included an electrical engineer and an agricultural expert, were able to prove that the leaves of the orange tree became a contact point with the power line, transmitting electricity through the tree and into the ladder, ultimately causing the man to fall, and resulting in his serious injuries. Then, they worked with DK Global to create a series of animations showing what happened to the Plaintiff’s body when he was electrocuted.

 

The animation showed the damage from the traumatic brain injury, along with actual brain scans and imaging showing which areas of the man’s brain had been affected in the incident. They also created an animation showing the extent of the man’s burns, which were so severe they damaged his muscles.

 

When Pius took over the case, no offer had been made in mediation, and litigation had extended for over one year. However, with animations showing the gravity of the man’s injury, Pius was able to help his client receive a high seven-figure settlement.

 

Pius Joseph of the Law Offices of Pius Joseph is a personal injury attorney who represents victims injured in auto, motorcycle, and product accidents. He started his career in 1988 as a personal injury lawyer dealing strictly with motorcycle accidents and has expanded his client base to other accidents throughout California.

"What we try to do is to maximize the damages for the client. And that means a lot of work, and also a lot of partnerships with the right experts, folks like DK Global."
Pius Joseph — Law Offices of Pius Joseph
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