LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The families of two women who were fatally electrocuted following a crash in Valley Village last year have sued the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Water and Power (DWP).
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the lawsuits claim the city and the DWP were repeatedly warned that a fire hydrant and a light pole were too close together – and potentially dangerous.
Stacey Lee Schrieber, 39, and Irma Zamora, 40, were killed on Aug. 22, 2012, after they attempted to aid a driver after his SUV crashed into the hydrant and light pole near the corner of Magnolia Boulevard and Ben Avenue.
Live wires from the wire pole were sitting in the pool of water from the hydrant, and Schreiber and Zamora were electrocuted when they stepped into the pool of electrified water, killing them both.
Prosecutors said the driver, Arman Samsonian, was driving his SUV recklessly before the collision. Six others suffered electrical burns, and five were hospitalized.
Samsonian has been charged with two counts of felony vehicular manslaughter. He plead not guilty on Aug. 7.
An attorney for Samsonian tried to argue that his client couldn’t have reasonably foreseen the possibility of an electrified pool of water following the crash, but the judge ruled that Samsonian was driving negligently and without regard for others.
One of the lawsuits, which was filed on May 29, was brought by Schrieber’s mother, Barbara Kausch, and Daniel Woloszyn, Zamora’s husband.
Both lawsuits are reportedly seeking damages in excess of $25,000.
The City Attorney’s Office has declined comment on the lawsuits.