GTP CLASSIC: Shanin Specter │Michael Goretzka v. West Penn Power Company │ $109 million verdict
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This week we’re replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Shanin Specter of www.klinespecter.com
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Inner Circle of Advocates member Shanin Specter of Kline & Specter, PC shares how he obtained the largest contested liability personal injury verdict in Pennsylvania history after 39-year-old Carrie Goretzka was fatally electrocuted by a 7200 volt power line. West Penn Power linemen failed to properly clean the wires with a wire brush before installing them, per the manufacturer’s instructions, resulting in the line overheating and falling to the ground as a live wire in her yard.
The result of this premises liability case led to the re-training of Pennsylvania linemen, infra-red inspections of power lines and the creation of an Electric Safety Division by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to investigate reported electrical injuries. An Allegheny County jury returned a $109 million verdict, including $48 million in compensatory damages and $61 million in punitive damages.
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Shanin Specter is a preeminent American trial lawyer. He is a founding partner of Kline & Specter, one of the leading catastrophic injury firms in the United States.
Specter has obtained more than 200 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million, including jury verdicts of $153 million against a major automaker and $109 million against a Pennsylvania power company. In all, he has achieved 16 eight- or nine-figure verdicts, among them news-making cases involving medical malpractice, defective products, medical devices, premises liability, auto accidents, and general negligence.
He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, whose membership is limited to the top 100 plaintiffs’ trial attorneys in the United States.
Beyond winning substantial monetary compensation for his clients, many of Specter's cases have prompted changes that provide a societal benefit, including improvements to vehicle safety, nursing and hospital procedures, the safe operation of police cars, training for the use of CPR at public institutions, and inspections, installation and maintenance of utility power lines. One case spurred the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to create a new Electric Safety Division to investigate reported electrical injuries. Most recently, Specter’s lawsuit on behalf of the victims of a fire escape collapse helped move the City of Philadelphia in 2016 to enact an ordinance requiring all fire escapes to be regularly inspected.
Specter earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Haverford College, his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an LL.M. with First Honors from Cambridge University.
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