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INDIANAPOLIS, IN, February 10, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Marion County Superior Court reached a $20 million verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs in Simmons v. Indianapolis Power & Light Co. The Plaintiffs, Amy and Wayne Simmons were represented by Yosha Cook & Tisch - Personal Injury Lawyers.
This personal injury case arose from an electric shock injury on a power plant owned and operated by Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) in Petersburg, Indiana. Wayne was a visiting laborer at the plant. IPL hired Wayne's employer, Sterling Boiler & Mechanical, Inc., to construct a concrete foundation for a new hydrogen tank pipe support. This support's foundation was scheduled for installation on the northwest corner of the power plant. On March 6, 2014, life as Wayne Simmons knew it was forever changed.
Upon Wayne's arrival, IPL employees directed him and his co-worker to the northwest corner of IPL's plant. The dig site area was spray-painted in a bright orange to show Wayne and his co-worker where to commence digging. Before work began, however, IPL issued a dig permit authorizing the job. The dig permit IPL issued to Wayne and SBMI never indicated the dangers associated with the job, nor did the permit utilize accurate plant drawings of the electrical wiring beneath the dig site surface. During the excavation, Wayne struck a live 4,160-volt electrical conduit, which caused an explosion and arc blast.
This electrical wiring was less than 1 foot below the ground surface. The plant drawings IPL relied upon in issuing the dig permit were inaccurate. IPL completed underground electrical renovations before this dig and did not rely upon up-to-date plant drawings in issuing the dig permit. As a result of this electrical encounter, Wayne Simmons sustained severe and permanent injuries, permanent tinnitus (i.e. ringing in the ears), as well as neurological deficits throughout his upper and lower extremities on the left side of his body.
Wayne was rendered permanently disabled from this incident and has never been able to return to work as a union carpenter. A 41-year-old healthy man, and hardworking Hoosier, was rendered permanently disabled as a result of IPL's negligence. This coming March will mark the seventh year of Wayne's suffering since this incident. Over these past seven years, Wayne has attended over 100 different doctor appointments. Wayne has endured three spinal cord stimulation procedures, undergoes continuous medical care and pain management treatment to this day. Wayne has consumed over 7,000 prescription drugs to help deal with his pain and insomnia. Wayne has not been able to sleep a full night since this injury occurred. The most he has ever slept is a few hours at a time. He had to have a special bed made to reach a manageable state of comfort. Due to these life-altering injuries, Wayne is unable to participate in daily activities that he once loved pursuing with his newly wedded wife, Amy Simmons. Wayne and Amy had only been married for six months before this tragedy unfolded on IPL's premises.
About the Trial
The Yosha Cook & Tisch legal team spent several years preparing the case, with the jury trial finally beginning on October 27, 2020, which lasted two full weeks before the jury reached a verdict. Despite somewhat unusual circumstances from the COVID-19 pandemic, the trial was heard in-person with social distancing measures in place.
The pandemic had an impact on the trial process, but the legal team ultimately prevailed, as the court found Indianapolis Power & Light Company 60 percent at fault, Simmons's employer Sterling Boiler 30 percent, and Simmons's 10 percent at fault. Based on this assignment of fault, the final verdict amounted to $12.2 million for the Plaintiffs Wayne and Amy Simmons.
About Yosha Cook & Tisch
The Yosha Cook & Tisch legal team includes Rich Cook, Bryan Tisch, Louis Buddy Yosha, and Brandon Yosha and relied on their wide array of legal experience to secure the multi-million dollar verdict. The team ranged from veterans to youthful trial lawyers, with Brandon Yosha being the youngest member of the team having been sworn into the Indiana state bar five weeks prior and the case marking his trial debut.
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