Ice, Trees and Utility Poles

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Russell Carlson, RCA, BCMA, Forensic Arborist Consultant ::::
In January, a winter storm passed over central Connecticut, bringing heavy accumulations of ice. Trees and utility wires were brought down throughout the region. A young woman was walking with a friend and as they walked up the street, a 55-foot long limb broke from a large maple tree, bringing down utility and communications wires which caused a utility pole to snap. The falling pole struck the woman, who died of her injuries.
The communication service provider who owned the pole was one of the defendants in this case. The plaintiffs claimed that the communication company used wood poles that were not properly rated and that were not suitably strong enough to meet industry standards. Among other issues, the plaintiffs claimed the pole should have withstood the weight of the falling limb without breaking.
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