Landscaper Sues FPL After Power Line Blows His Eye Out

Dwane Torres was hired to remove vegetation from around a power line in the back of a Key Biscayne house. The homeowners had called FPL repeatedly to take care of the overgrowth, but the utility company refused. Unfamiliar with the position of the power lines, Torres used a large saw-like tool attached to a long stick to clear the vegetation. He accidentally hit a line, and the shock blew off the left side of his face and his left eye. He's now suing FPL.

According to Courthouse News, the owners of the home had repeatedly called FPL over a five-year span to remove the vegetation from the power line that ran along their backyard. The vegetation grew so thick that it started getting tangled with the lines. The suit claims that an FPL inspector did come out to the house once but refused to do anything about it.

So the homeowners finally hired a landscaping company that sent Torres to remove the vegetation.

From Courhouse News:

Torres used a "saw-type device attached or affixed to an extension pole" and was unable to see the power lines as he began trimming the vegetation.

"At or about that time, either a palm frond or the saw-type device plaintiff was holding became energized by the power lines in the back section of the residence.

"The electrical energy from the power line entered Dwane Torres' head and brain, blowing out the left side of his face and left eye; it also blew a hole through plaintiff's upper torso and exited through a 'blow out' hole in his arm," the complaint states.

Torres suffered brain damage, blindness and first-degree burns over 37 percent of his body. He has been hospitalized since the accident more than a year ago, and has undergone "dozens of surgical procedures."

Now Torres is suing FPL, claiming that the company had the duty of keeping their lines clear of vegetation in the first place.

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Kyle Munzenrieder