Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Eversource on Behalf of Man Electrocuted on the Job
By Robert Storace | July 17, 2018 at 03:30 PM
The estate of Marcos Antonio DaSilva has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his employer KTI and energy company Eversource. DaSilva was electrocuted and killed instantly while on the job in 2016 in Wilton.
The attorney for the estate of a utility worker who died instantly after he was electrocuted on the job has filed suit, claiming his death could have been avoided if his employer, KTI Utility Construction & Maintenance LLC, and energy company Eversource had followed safety guidelines.
Greg Klein filed a wrongful death lawsuit July 11 in Danbury Superior Court on behalf of the estate of Marcos Antonio DaSilva.
Klein said the defendants could have taken easy steps to avoid the tragic events of June 9, 2016, when DaSilva died.
DaSilva was 44. He was killed while working for KTI, which is an Eversource subcontractor. He was born in Brazil and had lived in Danbury, working 22 years for KTI.
Klein, a litigator for the Danbury-based Alan Barry Center for Law and Justice LLC, said that as it relates to Eversource, “standards require that the power and lines should be turned off and they were not. My information is that it’s too costly to boot up and down every power line during repair work.”
Klein said in the case of KTI, an Oxford-based family run business, “the standards required a three-man crew. But there were only two men: a driver and my client, who was the worker with the pole. There should have also been a spotter who could have warned them or said look out. There was no spotter, also to save money.”
DaSilva, the lawsuit states, was fitting a pole into place at the time of the accident. The lawsuit said his partner, Mark Scott, used a boom to hoist a telephone pole and lower it to DaSilva, who was on ground level. According to the suit, Scott was moving the boom into position to get ready to pick up the pole. But, the suit says, the tip of the claw attached to the boom above the KTI truck touched an energized 13,800-volt transmission line. “Scott heard a yell, he looked down, and saw DaSilva on the ground,” the lawsuit says.
While Eversource was not cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, KTI was cited for two violations. They were cited for not ensuring the boom truck was operated far enough from energized exposed overhead power transmission lines and for not having a third worker, such as a spotter, on the job. The company was fined, but it’s not clear how much.
“In the 21st century, such a simple mistake can only be due to negligence,” Klein said.
Klein said he expects his biggest obstacle in moving forward with the case will be workers’ compensation laws. Normally, an employee, even the estate of someone killed on the job, would have workers’ compensation claims, Klein said.
“I expect the defense team for KTI will move to dismiss the case, citing workers’ compensation exclusivity,” he said. “But there are exceptions to the exclusivity rule and that includes strict liability based on ultra-hazardous activity. That is what we had here.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Eversource did not have an attorney assigned to the case. Mitch Gross, a spokesman for Eversource, told the Connecticut Law Tribune Tuesday the company would have no comment since the litigation was pending. KTI is represented by Courtney Stabnick of the Glastonbury-based Pomeranza Drayton & Stabnick. Stabnick did not respond to a request for comment. In addition, Ed Knapp, owner of KTI, also did not respond to a request for comment.
DaSilva is survived by his widow, Nara Cristina Rodrigues Feitosa, administrator of her husband’s estate, and an 18-year-old son, William.