Even though a utility company placed its poles in a position that failed to abide U.S. Federal Highway Administration “Clear Zone” stipulations, and even though this failure was noted by the local government with which it contracted, the Ohio Supreme Court has declined to hold the company responsible for an injury that occurred when an ejected motorcyclist struck one of those poles.
In the case of Link v. FirstEnergy Corp., plaintiff sustained serious injuries when, as he was riding along a roadway, he was hit by a deer, ejected from his motorcycle and tossed into a utility pole near the road. He sued the utility company after finding evidence the utility poles were placed very close to the road, in a position that did not follow federal clear zone standards.
When the case went to trial, jurors found the company was liable for the motorcycle accident injuries and imposed damages of almost $370,000 for plaintiff and his wife for serious leg and pelvic injuries. The damage award included damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of consortium. Continue reading