Families of Marines Awarded Fifty Five Million


The families of four Marines that were killed in 2004 have been awarded fifty five million dollars by a jury. The four Marines were killed after their helicopter hit an unlighted transmission tower on Camp Pendleton. The jury found that San Diego Gas and Electric had been negligent thus causing the death of the Marines.

The award came after the families of the Marines that were killed filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the energy company. The jury found the company to have been negligent due to its failure to install lighting on certain transmission towers that were carrying power lines across the military base.

Each of the families will receive a quarter of the award that was made, and the breakdown of the award was $15.2 million in compensation and $40.4 million in punitive damages. The jury forewoman said: “The biggest thing was the fact that SDG&E knew about the hazards and failed to do anything.”

However, the power company put the blame back with the US Marine Corps, stating: “The Marines knew the power lines and towers were there and, if the base commanders had wanted the towers lighted, all they had to do was ask. SDG&E could not have installed lights on its own, without the permission of the Marines.”


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