The dangerous work of a longshoreman finally caught up with Dale Winningham. He and his team were unloading coal from a barge on the Ohio river, when the 80 foot conveyor they were using became entangled in an uninsulated overhead Cincinnati Gas and Electric powerline. Mr. Winningham’s supervisor ordered him to climb up the conveyor and untangle the line, and assured him that the power had been shut off. The supervisor was wrong.
“Dale Winningham was electrocuted almost immediately after grabbing the charged line.”
He fell about 30 feet to the ground, and though he was successfully resuscitated, he suffered severe burns to his neck, back and legs requiring extensive skin grafts. Both arms were amputated below the elbow. Although the statute of limitations had expired against the power company, Mr. Winningham brought a personal injury lawsuit against the owners of the land where the injury occurred, his employer, and various interested insurance carriers. After a coordinated and fierce defense, and a lengthy trial, the jury awarded Mr. Winningham almost $2,000,000 for his crippling injuries.