A lawsuit was filed in Allegheny County Court by the mother of a 28-year-old woman who died after a utility pole struck by a tractor-trailer fell on her head.
Filed by Gloria Grate on behalf of her daughter, Marquetta Grate, the lawsuit names as defendants the city of Pittsburgh, Levin Furniture, Christopher Caudill and Penske Trucking.
According to attorney Michael Rosenzweig, who filed the complaint, Marquetta Grate was waiting for a bus on May 15 after dropping off her 3-year-old daughter at an East Liberty pre-school.
A tractor-trailer, driven by Mr. Caudill, attempted to round the bend and struck the light pole, which fell onto Ms. Grate.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the driver for failing to properly control his truck, and on the part of the city for failing to properly secure the light pole or to move it to a safer location.
Gloria Grate alleges that Levin and Penske — which leased the truck to the company — are liable for Mr. Caudill’s actions.
“This tragedy could have been prevented if the city of Pittsburgh had engaged in a routine analysis or inspection of the location of the pole in question,” Mr. Rosenzweig said. “It is well known that this is a dangerous site because of the configuration of the streets — trucks and buses repeatedly damage the pole by running over the surrounding sidewalk and curb as they attempt to round the curve at this location.”
He contends that the city had received previous complaints about the location but never took any action.
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