Entergy found not negligent for man's electrocution

David Yates Apr. 5, 2010, 10:12am

Golden Triangle jurors found no negligence on the part of Entergy for allegedly causing a man's 2005 death.

As the Record reported last week, the trial of Earnest Maize vs. Entergy began March 25 in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court.

Earnest Maize sued Entergy and local resident Sam Marino on behalf of his late son, Jabari Akins.

Court papers show that on May 29, 2005, Akins came in contact with an energized riser/conduit pole while attempting to cross over the backyard fence of his Beaumont home.

The shock knocked him unconscious, causing him to fall face down in a pool of rain water and drowned.

The suit was originally filed by Akins' mother, Paige Cleveland. Cleveland settled her claims for around $100,000. Maize later joined the suit and pursued a severed claim against Entergy and Marino.

Although jurors cleared Entergy, they did find negligence on the part of Marino, levying a $50,000 verdict against him.

Marino was Akin's neighbor and owned the energized riser which caused his death.

Testimony and evidence show that Marino's home was built in the 1950s and required special "3-phase" electrical equipment, unlike more modern homes.

Throughout the trial, Entergy maintained that is not responsible for homeowners who modify their electrical layouts.

Maize and his attorney, Thad Heartfield, were claiming Entergy had a responsibility to inspect Marino's home lines and cut service to prevent Akins' death.

Jurors reached their decision on April 1.

Entergy was represented by attorney Paul Scheurich.

Marino was represented by attorney Scot Doyen.

Case No. D178-239

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