Settlement for Electrocution Wrongful Death

Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers read about the tragic case of Adriana Rhine who was electrocuted to death at a fountain on a Georgia college. Adriana was 19 years old and with her three year old son, Zi’Quan, on campus.

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The tragic incident happened in September 2012 on the campus of South Georgia Technical College in Americus. Adriana was a student, but that day she was on campus to donate blood and see her sister, Jasmine, for her sister’s birthday. Jasmine was also a student. Adriana and Zi’Quan were waiting for Jasmine, and the little boy was playing with a blue ball. The ball rolled away and into a fountain. The fountain had a single knee high barrier chain, and it had previously had spouts of water several feet high. Adriana stopped Zi’Quan from chasing the ball and went to get it for him. When she reached into the water to get the ball, she was electrocuted. Little Zi’Quan was near her, watching as she struggled. She screamed for help, but passers-by who tried to help had to let go because they were being shocked too.

Adriana’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last May, hoping that others would not be injured or killed by this danger. Investigations found issues with the wiring for lighting and the motor beneath the fountain. Officials require inspection when fountains are built to make sure of safety, but then maintenance is left to the owner. Adriana’s family argued that the fountain was dangerous due to poor maintenance, which allowed the water to carry an electric current that killed Adriana. If fountains are not maintained, experts said that the water could send a charge of 110 volts into someone touching it. There was notice of the danger of this particular fountain, as well, since only one month before Adriana’s tragic death another student was electrocuted after falling in the fountain, and the person who rescued her was also shocked.

The state settled the lawsuit last November, paying the family $1.4 million. The family got $1 million, the maximum in Georgia under the law. Zi’Quan also received $400,000 for the emotional distress of witnessing his mother’s death. The family says that the $1.4 million will be in a trust fund for Zi’Quan, who is now living with his grandmother.

Regardless of the tragedy, some students would like to see the fountain running again, with an explicit sign saying keep out of the water. But they are expensive to maintain and for now the fountain is still empty and the knee high chain is still there.

Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys

If a loved one has died unnecessarily due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get needed compensation, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

Photo Credit: nathangibbs via Compfight cc

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