Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The family of a Baltimore girl electrocuted in a city park is back in court. Fourteen-year-old Deanna Green was the victim of faulty underground electric lines.
Pat Warren reports on court arguments heard Friday.
Circuit Court Judge John Miller had a lot of questions for attorneys on both sides.
The parents of Deanna Green have been in and out of court since 2006.
“It’s a wound that continues to be re-opened,” Green’s mother said.
Green, in a warm-up stretch before her softball game, planted one foot against one fence and stretched out her hand to touch another. Her body completed the circuit.
“What we had here was the equivalent of two bare wires with 240 volts of electricity between them disguised as fences,” Billy Murphy, attorney for the Green family, said.
In Green’s case, one of the fence poles came into direct contact with an underground cable and electrified the fence.
Her parents are challenging a court ruling last year that granted the city immunity in their daughter’s death.
“The notion that the city can let an electrical system that it has complete control over– didn’t belong to BGE– deteriorate so badly that now you have two hot fences with 240 volts and they say they’re not responsible,” Murphy said. “That’s mind-boggling.”
But the attorney for Baltimore argues the city is not liable to check for defects without reason to know there’s a problem, and has already been ruled immune from lawsuit. Still, leaving the courthouse Friday, Green’s family believes the government should be held accountable.
“Because it can so easily happen to anyone else. It was too easy,” they said.
A contractor hired by the city to do electrical work at the Druid Hill Park ballfield settled with the family, but says the settlement was not an admission of guilt.
Friday, the Public Service Commission adopted the Deanna Camille Green Rule, requiring power companies conduct twice a year surveys to detect stray voltage.