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Martin v. Louisiana Power & Light Co.

54 F. Supp. 780 (1983)

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Martin v. Louisiana Power & Light Co.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

54 F. Supp. 780 (1983)

Facts

Billie J. Martin (plaintiff) was an alcoholic who had been drinking at the Sassy B. Lounge. While Martin was intoxicated, he made a bet that he could climb a utility pole across the street. Martin managed to climb the pole, but when he reached the top, he touched an electrical line carrying 8,000 volts. Martin sustained a severe electrical shock and lost his right arm slightly below the elbow and his right leg slightly below the knee. Marin sued Louisiana Power and Light Company (Louisiana Power) (defendant). Louisiana Power moved for summary judgment, arguing that Marin was guilty of contributory negligence and that his conduct barred recovery. Martin argued that he was not guilty of contributory negligence because he lacked volition due to his alcoholism. Martin submitted a report and affidavit by a psychiatrist showing that Martin was an alcoholic who suffered from organic brain disease. Both parties have stipulated that Martin was an alcoholic, that he was intoxicated when he climbed the utility pole, and that the first step on the utility pole was six feet four-and-a-half inches off the ground.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wicker, J.)

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