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The verdict is in: AEP will pay millions in damages for wrongful death

WTAP News @ 5- Jury reaches verdict in Elsa Thompson trial
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio. (WTAP) - The verdict is in for the Elsa Thompson wrongful death trial. AEP will be paying her family $5.4 million.

After hours of deliberation, the jury reached their verdict….$2 million for Elsa Thompson’s pain and suffering in the fire and $4 million for her wrongful death.

The jury, however, claimed Elsa Thompson held a small amount of responsibility for her death because she didn’t install a smoke detector. Because of this, the final amount of money owed was knocked down to $5.4 million.

Elsa Thompson died in a house fire back in 2019.

The lawsuit claims that AEP crews failed to timely respond to reports of the downed line and that the line was not properly installed nor maintained. Lawyers also claimed that AEP did not properly prioritize calls the night of Mrs. Thompson’s death, putting her in fatal danger.

Needless to say, today was an emotional day for her family.

Jade Thompson, Elsa Thompson’s daughter-in-law, said of the verdict, “My first reaction was ‘thank you Jesus for helping us get through this’ and ‘we got justice for Elsa - for our matriarch.’”

Anna Lea Thompson, Elsa Thompson’s grandchild, added, “I’m grateful for the ladies and gentlemen of the jury and I’m grateful for the judge and I’m grateful to everyone who came out to support us because…we miss her so much and this is our first step towards healing.”

Phoebe Thompson, one of Mrs. Thompson’s grandchildren, said the verdict was validating. She said the family is finally getting the closure they need.

The family’s lawyer, Jordan Lebovitz, said of the case, “We are so thankful that the jury was able to see that AEP did wrong by the Thompsons...,”

John Power, the lead lawyer of the case, added, “There’s no question that the jury came back and justice was served.”

For more background on the case and the defense’s side, click here.

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