Indiana Household Information Lawsuit After 5 Members Drowned In A Reservoir Hose Accident – NBC Chicago
An Indiana family files a lawsuit against a North Carolina electricity company after five family members die in a hose accident in a river.
Five members of the Villano family died when the hoses they ran in ran over a small, low dam on the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina, the lawsuit said.
“It’s kind of miserable to be here,” said survivor Irene Villano. “It’s just like that, you’re with these people all the time and you’re always around them, and then you’re just not here anymore.”
The Villano family, made up of members from North Carolina to LaPorte, Indiana, is filing a lawsuit in North Carolina Superior Court against Duke Energy, the power company that controls the dam.
According to the lawsuit, the family alleges that the electricity company “negligently, recklessly, willfully and willfully” did nothing to protect the dam.
Attorney Ken Allen said the low head dams were “like putting someone in a washing machine that goes around and around and around and traps a person or debris”.
“The owners of these dams have understood and known for 100 years that they are deadly, that they drown machines.” said Allen. “So take them away.”
Although most have been removed, seven low dams, similar to those in the fatal accident, once existed along the north arm of the Chicago River.
Although Duke Energy did not respond directly to the lawsuit, it released the following statement on Thursday afternoon:
The safety of the public and our employees is a top priority for us, and we work closely with local communities, organizations and government agencies to promote safe and responsible recreational activities near our facilities.
The Villano family said warning signs for the dam appeared days after the tragedy. They said the lawsuit is to ensure that other families never feel the same pain that they are suffering.
“I hope nobody has to go through what I went through,” said Meghan Heitz, who lost her granddaughter in the accident. “I waited three and a half weeks for them to find my daughter. I called and called and it was the same the whole time. They didn’t find her.”