Power companies not shouldering blame for girl shocked - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Power companies not shouldering blame for girl shocked

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Gasia Thomas (Source: Family) Gasia Thomas (Source: Family)
CLEVELAND, OH -

First Energy and the Cleveland Electric Illuminating company say in court filings they shouldn't be blamed because a 12 year old girl touched downed power lines and ended up permanently handicapped.

Gasia Thomas touched live wires last year after Superstorm Sandy, and she nearly died. Her mother is pushing a civil lawsuit, and the first responses have been filed.

CEI admits it owns power lines in that area, and it knew lines were down.

But the company says the incident was caused by an "act of God." Nothing CEI did or didn't do is to blame.

First Energy says it doesn't control electrical equipment. Saying it's just a "holding company."

Meantime, the lawsuit has just been expanded. It now also targets a Cleveland police officer recently disciplined by the city. He had been sent to the area to guard downed wires. He says the ones he found were harmless phone wires.

CEI says what happened to the child was caused by "actions or inaction or others."

Police radio tapes show a dispatcher had alerted First Energy about downed wires right away.

First Energy is a parent company of CEI.

The case is still a long way from going to trial, but the court filings serve as the first public comments from the power companies about what happened.

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