NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, Kim Tinnin filed a lawsuit on behalf of her deceased daughter, Lauren Abraham. On October 29, 2012, Lauren Abraham, a 23-year-old makeup artist and teacher-in-training, walked outside of her home in Richmond Hill, Queens during Hurricane Sandy and came in contact with a severed electrical wire. The voltage of the still-electrified line horrifyingly caused Ms. Abraham to burst into flames. For the next 30 minutes, she burned alive, while friends and neighbors were forced to look on, unable to help because the line was still live. Tragically, Ms. Abraham was conscious for this entire time, screaming and writhing in unimaginable agony until emergency personnel eventually pronounced her dead at the scene. It took Con Ed more than two hours to cut power to the downed line, further endangering residents of the area, as well as the first responders. Amazingly, to this day Con Ed has not contacted the Abraham family to express their sympathy or apologize for the events.
Con Ed inexplicably failed to shut down the power lines in the area surrounding Ms. Abraham and Ms. Tinnin's home in advance of the storm. Con Ed also failed to employ technology to de-energize downed power lines and/or move the existing above-ground power lines underground, as has been done in Manhattan. By taking any of these measures, Con Ed could have saved Ms. Abraham's life. The lawsuit seeks to hold Con Ed responsible for Ms. Abraham's horrific death due to its negligence and its continued focus on the bottom line rather than implementing safety measures and equipment that could otherwise save lives.
Ms. Tinnin declared, "I am filing this lawsuit on behalf of my daughter, Lauren Abraham, so that no other mother has to go through what I have been trying to cope with since October 29th. I pray that this lawsuit gains attention throughout New York so that Con Ed is forced to make changes to its equipment that will save lives."
Douglas H. Wigdor, a partner at Thompson Wigdor LLP, and Derek Sells of The Cochran Firm represent Ms. Abraham's mother, Kim Tinnin, and father, Allan Abraham, in the wrongful death and negligence action. Messrs. Wigdor and Sells worked as co-counsel in the 2007 steam pipe explosion case that severely injured a tow truck driver and passenger. Mr. Wigdor declared, "This is yet another instance of Con Ed protecting its bottom line at the expense of ensuring the safety of New Yorkers. Con Ed's egregious failure to maintain its equipment and to take proper safety precautions in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy directly led to the death of a promising young woman." Mr. Sells added, "Con Ed is aware of technology that would remove the dangers of downed power lines and has consistently failed to implement it. Hopefully, this lawsuit will bring about that change."
Ms. Abraham was a vibrant and dedicated woman, committed to improving the lives of those around her. She was a beauty school student and makeup artist who had worked for several professional agencies, but also was attending LaGuardia Community College, where she was studying to become a math teacher. She was looking forward to beginning her first teaching internship in the Spring of 2013.
Additional information will be provided at the press conference later today at 3 p.m. about Lauren's background and the events surrounding her death. Lauren's mother, Kim Tinnin, and father, Allan Abraham, will be present, as well as other friends and family.
About Thompson Wigdor LLP: Thompson Wigdor LLP is a law firm specializing in high-profile, complex litigation and investigations as well as civil and criminal trials. They can be reached at 212-257-6800, TWinfo@thompsonwigdor.com or www.thompsonwigdor.com.
About The Cochran Firm: The Cochran Firm is one of the largest personal injury plaintiff law firms in the country and specializes in a wide-range of civil litigation from medical malpractice to wrongful death cases. It was founded by the late Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. They can be reached at 212-553-9120 or www.cochranfirm.com.