West Penn Power, PUC agree on fine, repairs

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PITTSBURGH – A Western Pennsylvania utility has agreed to pay an $86,000 fine and change its maintenance procedures in light of the death of a woman killed by a downed power line 3 1/2 years ago.


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the tentative agreement between West Penn Power Co. and the Public Utility Commission requires the utility to inspect its power lines and make any necessary repairs.


The commission still must finalize the agreement, which follows the June 2009 accident in which a power line fell onto and fatally burned 39-year-old Carrie Goretzka in the backyard of her Hempfield Township home in front of her two young daughters.


An Allegheny County jury in December ordered the utility to pay the victim’s family $109 million. West Penn Power appealed, calling the award excessive.


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