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Nertavich v. PPL Electric Utility

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On September 10, 2015, Joel Rosen of Cohen, Placitella and Roth argued the case of Nertavich v. PPL Electric Utility before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. This case was argued before the Supreme Court on the issue of owner liability for the conduct of its contractors and the responsibility for an owner of property to its contractor’s employees. This case involved an electric utility pole painter who sustained life changing injuries when he fell twenty-five feet from a PPL electric utility pole onto the ground below.

Cohen Placitella & Roth brought this lawsuit against PPL for its failure to follow its own guidelines and provide a safe work place for its contractors’ employees who work on its poles at great heights near electrified power lines. The jury found in favor of Mr. Nertavich and awarded him 2.5 million dollars for his injuries.

Mr. Rosen argued that he had proven at trial that PPL exercised control over every aspect of the work performed by its contractor, as is required by the law to hold an owner responsible, that the jury’s verdict had a solid basis in fact and the verdict should not be overturned. This case represents important issues concerning safe work conditions and the importance of preserving verdicts reached during the jury process.

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