Washington State Utility Sued Over Girl’s River Electrocution

TACOMA, Wash. (CN) – The parents of a girl was electrocuted while floating down the Puyallup River in 2014 sued Puget Sound Energy, the utility that provided the power that was discharged into the river by a faulty irrigation pump.

According to the complaint filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Tuesday, Madeline Roskie had been tubing on the river with her boyfriend on Aug. 2, 2014 when they went near the bank of the river to let another group pass.

The couple didn’t know that an irrigation pipe nearby was discharging electricity into the river. Roskie said her legs were going numb before she became unconscious.

She was taken to shore by her boyfriend, who was unable to resuscitate her. Roskie died at the scene.

Weeks later, Puget Sound Energy said a technician had found a grounding issue with a pump connected to an irrigation pipe located on the stretch of river nearby where Roskie died, according to the complaint filed by Roskie’s father.

The father says the utility won’t disclose the name of the pump’s owner, who is named as defendant John Does 1-4 in the complaint.

Puget Sound Energy’s media department declined to comment on the case, saying it had not yet received the official complaint.

The father’s attorney, Rebecca Roe of Schroeter, Goldmark and Bender in Seattle, could not be reached for comment.

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