Florida residents are no stranger to power outages, between issues with high winds and hurricanes much of the year. However, there’s another issue that both interferes with the electrical supply and puts people in danger: power companies that don’t do their jobs.
The Florida Public Service Commission requires all investor-owned power companies to keep the vegetation around their power lines trimmed and cleared on a regular schedule. However, at least one major company is failing to do its job. The result isn’t just power outages. People are getting seriously injured or killed by electrocution when they touch the wrong plants.
An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times discovered that electrocutions in Florida when people touch a plant or tree that’s against a live wire are disturbingly common — particularly where one company is concerned.
In a 13-year period, Florida Power & Light reported nearly twice the number of deaths from electrocution as all other electric companies in the state combined. That doesn’t really begin to account for the hundreds of other victims who were injured in such incidents but survived. Roughly half of those incidents happened in residential areas when a homeowner or yard worker was merely trying to clear plants away from a line or doing some trimming around homes.
Despite at least 42 lawsuits over such incidents and expert recommendations for change, Florida Power & Light has refused to pick up the pace on its trimming schedule. That indicates that they’re prioritizing profit over human safety.
If you’ve been injured after coming into contact with vegetation around a power line or your loved one was killed, it may be time to talk to a Florida personal injury attorney about your options. You have every right to hold a negligent power company liable for its mistakes.