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Mother, daughter shocked by fallen T&TEC live wire

Published: 
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
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A 57-year-old woman and her daughter, who both suffered serious shock after a live electrical cable fell on their vehicle four years ago, are now suing the T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC).

In the lawsuit filed in the Port-of-Spain High Court on Monday, Sandra Panalal and her 29-year-old daughter Annelia, both of Casselton Gardens, Trincity, are claiming that T&TEC was negligent in the incident, which occurred in Chaguanas on October 6, 2014.

According to the court documents, which were obtained by Guardian Media, the Panalals were parked outside a business place at Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas when the cable fell from a utility pole and crashed unto their Kia Sorento SUV.

“As a result, an electrical current passed through the said motor vehicle and Panalal suffered a severe initial shock for about three minutes while her both hands were on the steering wheel and right foot was placed on the gas pedal.

“Further, when attempting to turn off the motor vehicle Panalal suffered another severe electrical shock,” Panalals’ attorneys Larry Lalla and Shalini Debideen said in the lawsuit.

They claimed that Panalal’s daughter also suffered a severe shock on her left arm, which was in contact with the vehicle.

A T&TEC work crew, who was working on the same line lower down the road, rushed to their assistance and removed the cable using a wooden stick.

Despite being in pain, Panalal was able to drive away in the vehicle, which had damage to the bonnet and left side.

In the lawsuit, the Panalals are claiming that T&TEC was negligent in failing to maintain the cable and pole and for failing to ensure that the work on the cable was being carried out in a manner that would not have endangered members of the public.

While T&TEC offered to pay the family’s medical bills, they chose to be attended by their personal doctors who diagnosed them both with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They claim that they are still suffering from symptoms which include insomnia, nervousness, depressed feelings, headaches, cramps and body pains.

The Panalals are claiming $119,203.45 in medical bills incurred since the incident. Their claim is expected to rise as up to date medical bills are expected to be presented at trial.

Panalal’s employer A&S Contracting Service Company Limited was listed as a party to the proceedings as it owned the vehicle which was damaged in the incident.

The company is claiming $13,698.09, which represents the costs of repairing the electrical system in the vehicle. It is also seeking $45,000 in compensation they spent on renting a vehicle while the SUV was being repaired. A date for the first hearing of the lawsuit is yet to be set by the Judiciary.

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