A jury recently awarded the families of four marines more than $55 million in compensatory and punitive damages in their wrongful death lawsuit against a local gas and electric company. The jury found the utility company negligent in the deaths of four marines who were killed when their helicopter hit an unlit utility tower on Camp Pendleton in 2004.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that the accident would not have happened if lights or other markers had been installed on the tower. The jury found the company was negligent for failing to light towers at the military base and two of the utility’s representatives acted maliciously by not ordering the installation of lights or markers on the tower, even though they knew unlit towers were a hazard. At the time of the accident, the marines, including one Chicago-area native, were practicing routine nighttime maneuvers. To read the full story, click here.