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Washington v. Louisiana Power and Light Co.

Louisiana Supreme Court
555 So. 2d 1350


Facts

A man was using his CB radio in his back yard when the antenna from the radio came into contact with an electrical line owned and operated by Louisiana Power and Light Co. (LP & L) (defendant). The line was located about 21 and a half feet off the ground. The man was electrocuted and died as a result. The man had previously been electrocuted in the same manner, but only suffered burns on his hands. The man had then asked LP & L to move the line. LP & L said they would do so if the man would pay for the expense. The man’s children, including Washington (Washington and his siblings) (plaintiff), sued LP & L for wrongful death. The matter went to trial. The jury awarded damages to Washington and his siblings. LP & L appealed. The appeals court reversed the trial court, finding that LP & L had not breached any duty owed to the man. Washington and his siblings appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Dennis, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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