In February 2013, the three Zarsky children-ages 3, 5, and 7-were playing in their backyard when a CenterPoint Energy guy wire made contact with live components and electrocuted the two youngest children, as the oldest watched in disbelief. A year later, the Zarsky family and CenterPoint energy have agreed to a settlement.
As reported by the Houston Chronicle, CenterPoint Energy announced last week that it had reached a settlement agreement with the Zarsky family that included trusts sets up for each of the three Zarsky children and a commitment from CenterPoint to inspect all 220,000 guy-wire installations in the Houston region as well as an agreement to launch a television awareness campaign about the dangers of damaged or broken wires.
In their suit, the Zarsky family claimed CenterPoint Energy was negligent because the Zarsky’s notified CenterPoint about the broken wire that had come loose in their yard, but CenterPoint did not send anyone to address the wire or the danger. Generally the guy wire would not have electrocuted and burned the children; but, because it became loose from its anchor it came into contact with the live components of the utility pole and became a live wire itself. The two youngest Zarsky children suffered severe burns to various parts of their body and underwent multiple skin graphs and surgeries. CenterPoint’s statement said incidents such as these are rare but that they take them seriously and are “committed to identifying and remedying potential safety issues related to guy wires.”