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Tenacity v. Power: The Gasia Thomas Case

Tenacity v. Power

The Gasia Thomas Case

I’m Romney Cullers, a partner at The Becker Law Firm. I’d like to introduce a very important client of mine, Gasia Thomas, and tell you a little about the work we did on her behalf that, after nearly four years of work, ended with Gasia receiving the largest individual personal injury settlement in Ohio’s history, $60 million.

Her name is Gasia Thomas. She’s in the lower right-hand corner of the photo below, along with her mom and little sister.

When I first met Gasia’s mother, she was dealing with two nearly impossible challenges:

First, she was trying to help her family heal after a horrifying tragedy.

On November 1, 2012, her 12-year old daughter, Gasia, suffered a profound brain injury and partial amputation from contact with a downed power line in her neighborhood, and it was determined that she would need round-the-clock medical care for the rest of her life. Gasia’s 10-year old sister had minor physical injuries of her own and was trying to cope with the absolute horror of witnessing her big sister combust as a result of contact with the power line.

If that wasn’t enough already, Gasia’s mom was in the middle of preparing to take on the political and economic forces of the power company that owned the fallen electrical line and that had chosen to repeatedly ignore warnings of the threat that the downed line posed.

The Becker Law Firm was glad to take Gasia’s case and I was honored to act as the lead attorney.

Superstorm Sandy

In late October 2012, Superstorm Sandy – the largest Atlantic hurricane on record and the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history – cut across 24 states, resulting in the deaths of 233 people. It made landfall in Brigantine, New Jersey on October 29, 2012 with 80 mph winds and made its way to Northeast Ohio – four hundred miles away – with winds reaching 68 mph.

Hundreds of schools were closed, and a quarter of a million people were left without power.

Gasia’s Injury

By November 1, 2012, Sandy was dissipating and people were assessing the damage and beginning to make repairs. The weather had let up, and Gasia and her sister were walking near their home in Cleveland, Ohio to board the local church’s bus.

That’s when Gasia touched an energized wire that was hanging above the sidewalk near E. 129th and Iroquois Avenue. The call Gasia’s mom made to 911 was frantic, as was the call made by a neighbor.

Their reactions were understandable: Gasia’s injuries were catastrophic.

Because of the high voltage it was carrying, the power line stuck to Gasia’s body when she came into contact with it. Her heart stopped beating, and as the current flowed out of the wire, through her body, and into the ground, it burned the tissue along its path, leaving extensive damage both on and below the surface of her skin.

On that day, Gasia suffered a traumatic brain injury and would require multiple surgeries, including the partial amputation of her hand.

Who Should Have Prevented Gasia’s Injuries?

After a tragedy, people often ask themselves, “Could this have been prevented?” In a case like Gasia’s, though, a better question to ask is, “Should this have been prevented?”

If so, who was responsible for preventing it, and what went wrong?

Cases like Gasia’s are brought to court specifically to sort through issues of responsibility when someone suffers a catastrophic and life-altering injury.

As a plaintiff’s attorney on a power line contact case, my job is to prove that the power company had a duty to my client that it violated. I must demonstrate exactly whose negligence led to my client being hurt.

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    "Thank you for being our champions."

    Your unwavering dedication and expert guidance have truly been a lifesaver. Your sharp legal mind and compassionate heart have made all the difference. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being there for us every step of the way. We are forever grateful Words cannot express our gratitude for everything you have done for us. Your outstanding professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment to justice have been nothing short of remarkable. You have given us back our confidence and hope during a difficult time. Thank you for being our champions. Thank you so much.

    - The C. Family
    "Michael Becker helped us secure our daughter’s future needs. We will always be grateful for the impact he has had on our family."
    We were greeted with professionalism, expertise, compassion, respect, and a desire to provide the best quality of life for our daughter. She was always the top priority. Mr. Becker represented our daughter and family as if it was his own. His staff was equ
    - Kris Harmon, mother of Perri
    "Mike represented us as if he was fighting for his own family member. I knew that my son was getting the best representation in Northeast Ohio."
    It was an honor having such an experienced lawyer handle my son's cerebral palsy case. He represented us as if he was fighting for his own family member. Everyone at the firm made us feel comfortable about our case. I knew that my son was getting the best representation in Northeast Ohio. The Becker Law Firm is dedicated to bringing justice to their clients. I've already referred families that I know!
    - Knyesha Washington
    "David worked our case with professionalism and patience in an amazing way that ultimately led to a positive outcome."
    Right from the very beginning of our case, David Skall and his assistant Jean Witt were both extremely kind and compassionate to help us put closure on a wrongful death case involving my father at a care facility. They were quick to answer any questions that we had and they made sure we were kept in the loop of this entire process. even though we were in the middle of a pandemic, David and his team were able to adapt their technology and make it all work out for our benefit. I would strongly recommend them to anyone in need of legal help.
    - John Z.

Contact the Becker Law Firm Today to Fight for Full Justice

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury similar to Gasia’s because of contact with a power line, I’d like to talk with you about how we might help you find the full justice you deserve. You can use the contact form on this page or call us at (440) 252-4399 to schedule a free initial consultation today. The Becker Law Firm accepts cases on a contingency basis, meaning you will not be charged unless we win your case.

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