New round in lawsuit over woman’s death from power line

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) – The family of a Battle Creek woman who was killed by a downed power line has won a crucial court decision in a lawsuit against Consumers Energy.

The Michigan appeals court says it was “reasonably foreseeable” that an injury could occur from failing to inspect a power line in a residential area. The court overturned a decision by a Calhoun County judge, who had dismissed the case in favor of the utility.

Catherine Skidmore was killed in 2011 while rushing to warn a neighbor about a fire from a downed power line at night.

Neighbors had complained about the power lines, and experts said there was too much vegetation around them.

The appeals court says jurors can decide whether it was reasonable for Skidmore to run across a dark yard.

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