Woman claims electric lines too low, sues Entergy over son's shock

Kelly Holleran Feb. 4, 2009, 6:52am

A Jefferson County woman has filed suit on behalf of her minor son against Entergy Texas, alleging he received an electrical shock because of a low-hanging power line.

Tammy Barnette Becker claims her son, Brandon Reid Barnette, was working on top of a fence in his backyard when he lost his balance and instinctively reached his hands up to regain his balance.

However, Barnette's hands came into contact with the power line Entergy had installed and the boy was shocked on Oct. 24, according to the complaint filed Jan. 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

Because of the incident, Barnette was seriously and permanently injured, was physically impaired and was disfigured, Tammy Barnette Becker claims.

He also suffered great physical and mental pain, suffering and anguish, according to the complaint.

Entergy Texas was negligent by allowing a power line to hang low above a 6-foot residential fence, by failing to adhere to safety standards established for power line heights, by failing to respond to requests to raise the height of the power line, by failing to inspect the premises in order to discover the dangerous condition and by failing to correct the dangerous condition, the suit states.

The company also negligently failed to warn invitees that a dangerous condition existed, Becker claims.

"The utility of maintaining the condition that caused the minor Plaintiff's injury was slight as compared to the probability of injury, because Defendant could have very easily and eliminated the risk by elevating the power line to safe height," the suit states.

Becker is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits, plus exemplary damages, pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest legal rate and other relief to which she is entitled.

She is represented by B. Adam Terrell of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell of Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D183-146

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