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Electrical Accident Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

Kansas City, MO – A wrongful death lawsuit against Kansas City Power & Light and a family has been set for a jury trial in early 2012.

Ronald and Patricia Basta, the parents of the late Joseph Basta, have filed for damages that came as a result of their son’s death on June 17, 2009, when he was electrocuted while doing roofing work. The owners of the house where it occurred, Larry and Judy Blankenship, have also been named in the lawsuit.

A jury trial has been scheduled to start Jan. 23, 2012, in Judge Randall Jackson’s court.

According to papers filed in the case, Joseph Basta was employed by Mike Rose Roofing, which was hired to do roof work on the Blankenships’ home. Standing on top of the roof with two other employees, Mr. Basta had finished cutting shingles and attempted to straighten himself up by placing his left hand on a weather vane connected to the ground.

He came in contact with an uninsulated split bolt connector, the plaintiffs say, and an estimated 200 volts of electricity ran through his body before a co-worker pushed him away. He jumped from the roof to the ground, landing on his feet, and curled up in the fetal position.

Attempts to revive Mr. Basta were unsuccessful. The cause of death was declared as electrocution.

The Bastas hold KCP&L responsible, saying the company should have inspected and maintained equipment supplying electricity to the home. They also allege negligence by the Blankenships for failing to maintain care of electrical equipment issues and not warning about potential dangers.

KCP&L and the Blankenships have denied all allegations, save for one. In an answer, the family admits negligence when it came to inspecting the electrical equipment and providing notice of any issues to the roof workers. KCP&L places blame on the Blankenships, Mike Rose Roofing and Mr. Basta’s co-workers.

“These individuals failed to inspect the electrical equipment, failed to warn Joseph Basta of the potential danger and failed to make the equipment safe before directing (Mr. Basta) to work near (it),” a filing stated.

KCP&L also said Mike Rose Roofing failed to comply with numerous Occupational Safety and Health Act rules, and that overhead power line conductors and their supporting instruments were plainly visible to all of the workers.

“Joseph Basta voluntarily and knowingly consented to the circumstances that resulted in his injuries and had knowledge, or with the exercise of reasonable care should have had knowledge, of the dangers of overhead electrical supply lines,” the utility said.

Story via Andrew Guag at Newspressnow.com  Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com

Martin Technical Electrical Safety Service

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