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Suit Settled in Carwash Electrocution

Suit settled in carwash electrocution
By Ramon Coronado -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, November 9, 2004

A lawsuit filed by the parents of a 9-year-old girl who was electrocuted at a south Sacramento carwash has been settled for $1.3 million, according to the parents' lawyer. "This was a tragic loss that could have easily been avoided," said John N. Demas, who represented Wayne Quail and Katherine Fusek.

According to the lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court, a chain of negligence caused the April 22, 2002, death of Victoria Quail, a student at Maple Elementary School.

The girl was with her mother washing the family car at the self-service carwash on Freeport Boulevard when she was electrocuted after touching a light pole that was not properly grounded.

The suit, which was settled late last month out of court, alleged that the carwash owners, Alvin and Constance Corsini, were negligent property owners. The Corsinis' lawyer, Robert Lazzarini, couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

The suit also alleged that the Corsinis' electrician, Warren Davina, was negligent for his faulty workmanship. Davina's lawyer, Domenic D. Spinelli, confirmed the suit was settled but declined to discuss details.

Also named as a defendant was Bloom Construction Co., which built the carwash in 1965 without taking out a necessary permit for the light pole, the suit alleged. The construction company's lawyer, Mark S. Posard, didn't return a phone call.

The Corsinis, who bought the carwash in 1990, should have known the faulty light pole needed repair from their regular inspections of the property, Demas said. The Corsinis agreed to pay $475,000 to settle the suit, Demas said.

Davina, who didn't have a valid contractor's license, didn't take out necessary permits for work he performed for the Corsinis, Demas said. Davina agreed to pay $700,000, Demas said.

Had the Bloom Construction Co. taken out a permit for the faulty pole, Sacramento city inspectors would have found the defect, Demas said. The company agreed to pay $125,000, Demas said.

About the writer: The Bee's Ramon Coronado can be reached at (916) 321-1191 or rcoronado@sacbee.com.

Mike Holt's Comment: I bet they had a ground rod at the pole! Another unnecessary death because of improper BONDING.

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