A 1-year old child was electrocuted by exposed wiring in a air conditioning unit while playing outside of her Addis apartment. Kristiana Tillman was playing with other children from ages 5 to 10 when it is believed she came into contact with the wires. She was barefoot and the ground around the unit was wet, according to the report of chief investigator Yancy Guerin of West Baton Rogue Parish Coroner’s office. Guerin also reported that the unit lacked a cover to hold the wiring. The child was left in the care of her aunt, who went into their apartment for a minute when the event occurred, Guerin believes.
Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson said that the police did not suspect foul play and are still investigating. However, he did believe that “it was piss-poor maintenance to leave the unit exposed like that.”
Potential criminal ramifications aside, this tragic case presents us with a potential example of comparative fault. Louisiana’s concept of comparative fault revolves around the idea that if there are multiple sources of harm, the total responsibility for the injury shall be portioned out between those sources. While no lawsuit for damages as a result of negligence has been filed, we can speculate the potential parties: the victim’s family being the plaintiffs and the apartment complex owners being the defendants. If the apartment complex owners outsource their maintenance tasks to a repair company, then it is likely that that company will be named as a party—if it can be determined that the unit was left uncovered after a repair—which would reduce the percentage of liability for the complex owners.
Furthermore, Louisiana’s comparative fault also provides for the circumstance of the person’s injury being partially a result of his or her own negligence. In such a case, the amount of damages the victim would recover could be reduced in proportion to a determined percentage of his own fault or the fault of others. Any potential fault of the child’s caretaker at the time may be considered if it contributed to the injury.
Comparative fault, much like most things in life, is a complex affair. It is important to have experts on your side so that justice may be served. The attorneys at Broussard & David have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle cases of this nature and will fight to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of another’s negligence, contact the attorneys at Broussard & David to discuss your legal rights at (337) 233-2323 (local) or (888) 337-2323 (toll-free).