Southwestern Electric Responds to Wrongful Death Suit

Southwestern Electric Cooperative has denied allegations brought against it in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Nancy Mechochko filed the lawsuit, claiming that her husband, Gregory Mechochko, was in contact with a concrete mixer as he was working on January 23, 2013, when an uninsulated power line collapsed and touched the concrete mixer. The man died on February 12.

The power line, which was the property of Southwestern Electric Cooperative, allegedly collapsed when it was struck by a track hoe.

The lawsuit claims that Mechochko was working on a construction site in Maryville, Illinois — near the intersection of Lakeview Acres Road and State Route 162 — when the incident occurred.

On September 12, 2013, Southwestern Electric Cooperative brought allegations against Thiems Construction Company as a third party defendant. The construction company responded by arguing that contribution is barred by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusive remedy provision.

Nancy Mechochko claims that the electric cooperative did not properly maintain the power line or the reclosers protecting it. Furthermore, she stated that Southwestern also failed to suspend the line at the proper height. The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

The electric cooperative has denied that a cause of action has been properly stated or that the plaintiff has suffered damages to the extent claimed.

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